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Dr Emma Williams

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

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.

Research keywords

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