Meet our new Cyber Protect Officer

Today, Action Fraud has launched its campaign to get people to #MulletOver before falling victim to phishing emails on #NationalFishandChipDay.

What is Phishing you may be asking? Phishing is a cybercrime in which victims are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords.

Did you know… Action Fraud received a whopping quarter of a million reports of phishing between April 2018 and March 2019!

We’ve taken some time out with our new Cyber Protect Officer who started her new role in Gwent Police this week -  to find out more about all things cyber, and the new campaign #MulletOver that launched this #NationalFishandChipDay.

Name: Leigh Alexandra Woolford

What is your new job?

Cyber Protect Officer

What did you do before this role?

Before this role I was a Restorative Practice trainer in South Wales, delivering training to schools, Head Teachers, their staff, pupils and parents.  I have worked supporting children, young people and their families for the majority of my career in various roles in Wales and overseas; in education, the community and as a Flying Start Family Facilitator in Swansea. 

What will you be doing in your first few weeks in your new role?

My first few weeks will involve getting to know the teams and individuals that I will be working with across Gwent Police and partner agencies, as well as preparing for delivery across the area and in the community.  I am writing this on my very first day, so I’m sure that from tomorrow my calendar will start to fill with the plan of action for the coming weeks and months. 

What is your advice in support of the #MulletOver  on #NationalFishandChipDay?

My advice would be to #MulletOver and think before you respond to anything that appears in your inbox.  You wouldn’t let a thief enter your home, but what if the thief was masquerading as someone familiar, such as a postman and tricked you into opening the door?  Phishing works in a similar way - people open the doors to their personal data, giving up login details, passwords or even payment details to malicious e-mails, links or websites designed to look like they’re authentic; and they are sophisticated and realistic.  That information can then be used to commit fraud and cybercrime.  Look after your personal information online in the same way that you would look after your home and personal possessions. 

How will you help officers and staff and the public?

I will support officers, staff and the public by delivering a consistent cyber security message and advice as part of Team Cyber UK.  In addition, I will be working to reduce the risk of repeat victimisation for victims of cybercrime, as well as delivering advice on becoming cyber resilient to local businesses which will enable them to better secure themselves in the digital age. 

How can we contact you?

I am excited to join Gwent Police and hope to meet as many people across both the force and community as soon as possible.  If you would like to speak to me directly, please feel free to drop me an email; it would be great to hear from you. E-mail me on [email protected]

What are your top five cyber tips?

My top five cyber tips, are:

  1. Don’t click on links or open attachments from emails that you are not expecting.  
  2. If you get an email or text out of the blue asking you for your personal or financial info… Don't take the bait! Take Five and #MulletOver.
  3. Keep your passwords safe and use three random words as the basis of your passwords.  This makes it harder to guess than single words or familiar phrases, dates or your favourite things.
  4. Download software updates on your phone and other devices when prompted.
  5. Report phishing emails or suspicious texts and calls to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.  

What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?

My long-term hope is to get people talking all things cyber through my delivery and the support given to my colleagues, that will protect members of the Gwent community as well as businesses, to beat cybercrime and not be victims, reducing the reports that need to be made to Action Fraud. 

For more information on Phishing and cyber crime fraud in general, visit: www.actionfraud.police.uk