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Dr Emma Williams

Dr Emma Williams

Dr Emma Williams
BSc (Hons), PhD(Cardiff)

Lecturer in Marketing

Area of research

Cyber security: How do we encourage users to engage in secure online behaviour?

Office 3.22
Howard House,
Queen's Avenue, Bristol BS8 1SD
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 39 40537

Summary

I am a Chartered Psychologist, Chartered Scientist, and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. I completed a BSc(hons) Psychology at the University of Bath and a PhD in the area of deception at Cardiff University in 2012. Following my PhD, I spent 3 years working within human factors and behavioural science research roles in the public and private sector before returning to academia to take up a post-doctoral position under Professor Adam Joinson (University of Bath). During this time, I conducted research focused on exploring individual differences in susceptibility to malicious forms of influence online, such as phishing emails and online scams, using a combination of laboratory-based and field-based studies in collaboration with a range of organisations. 

Broadly speaking, I am interested in understanding how individual differences in perceptions of risk interact with the particular characteristics of a situation to impact decision making in applied contexts. My current research considers this in relation to how people make decisions regarding whether to engage in secure online behaviour and involves close collaboration with the Cryptography and Information Security group within the Department of Computer Science.

Biography

Dr Emma Williams (Walker)

I am a Chartered Psychologist, Chartered Scientist, and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. I completed a BSc(hons) Psychology at the University of Bath and a PhD in the area of deception at Cardiff University in 2012. Following my PhD, I spent 3 years working within human factors and behavioural science research roles in the public and private sector before returning to academia to take up a post-doctoral position under Professor Adam Joinson (University of Bath). During this time, I conducted research focused on exploring individual differences in susceptibility to malicious forms of influence online, such as phishing emails and online scams, using a combination of laboratory-based and field-based studies in collaboration with a range of organisations. 

I was awarded a Vice-Chancellor's Fellowship at the University of Bristol in November 2017 to undertake research focused on human aspects of cyber security and cybercrime.

Broadly speaking, I am interested in how people perceive, consider and make decisions about risk in relation to emerging technologies and online activities. In particular, I am interested in how these judgments may be influenced by a range of contextual and situational factors that are often experienced in applied contexts. I am also interested in exploring how we can best communicate information about online risks to people so that they feel empowered to make informed choices.

My current research involves close collaboration with colleagues in the Bristol Cyber Security Centre and the Cryptography group within the Department of Computer Science, as well as colleagues within the School of Psychology at Cardiff University (HuFEx), the School of Management at the University of Bath, and the Department of Psychology at Central Washington University.

I am an associate of the ESRC-funded Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST; https://crestresearch.ac.uk). 

If you are interested in collaborating, please get in touch!

Teaching

I have previously taught at the undergraduate level in the area of online collectives and online behaviour, specifically focused on the dark net, social media and social action, and prosocial outcomes of online communities.

I am also keen to engage the public with my research, and have previously been involved in a number of public engagement activities, incuding:

- Science Showoff, University of Bath (2017).

- University of Bath Images of Research (2016).

- Know How: To avoid email fraudsters, fakes and scams. Public lecture at The Edge, University of Bath (2016).

- Invited Interviews on BBC Inside Out South (30th Oct 2016) and on ITV West (January 2018), BBC Points West (April 2016), BBC Radio Somerset, BBC Radio Bristol, BBC Radio Kent, Talk Radio, Heart Radio, and The Breeze regarding my research into the psychological techniques used in online and offline scams. 

 

 

Keywords

  • cybersecurity
  • risk perceptions
  • cognitive psychology
  • social psychology
  • online behaviour
  • cyber crime
  • phishing

Memberships

Organisations

School of Experimental Psychology

Other sites

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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