Victoria Baines is a leading authority in the field of online trust, safety and cybersecurity. She frequently contributes to major broadcast media outlets – BBC Newsnight, Radio 4, and Sky News among them – on digital ethics, cybercrime and the misuse of emerging technologies such as Extended Reality and Artificial Intelligence. Her most memorable media appearance to date was a live face-off with Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain, which she maintains she won.
She is Professor of Information Technology at Gresham College, London’s oldest higher education institution, where she is responsible for delivering public lectures that demystify world-changing technologies for ‘ordinary’ people. Her current series of lectures puts citizens back at the heart of decision-making on the future direction of IT, tackling questions such as how the Internet should be governed, how best to fight fake news, what life in the Metaverse might be like, whether we can expect our private communications to stay private, how we can protect ourselves and others from digital infection, and why making IT more inclusive will make all of us safer.
Victoria Baines has published on cyberspace governance, online surveillance, the future of cybercrime, and the politics of security. Drawing on her Classical education, her book Rhetoric of Insecurity (Routledge, 2021) sheds light on 2000 years of security speak and is a toolkit for understanding why security issues always seem to be so novel, urgent and divisive. She also provides expertise to a number of leading international organisations, helping them anticipate and adapt to technological change.
For several years Victoria was Facebook’s Trust & Safety Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, providing support to law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and engaging with ministers and heads of state on key policy issues. Before joining Facebook, Victoria led the Strategy team at Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), where she was responsible for the EU’s cyber threat analysis. She designed and developed Europe’s flagship assessment of cybercrime, and authored scenarios for the future of cybersecurity that were the bases for award-winning movies. Prior to this, Victoria was Principal Analyst at the UK Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). She began her career in law enforcement in as a Higher Intelligence Analyst for Surrey Police, fighting drug trafficking and organized crime, and cracking cold cases. In 2008, the International Association for Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts recognised Victoria’s work with a global award for outstanding achievement.
She is co-host of the award-nominated Cyber Warrior Princess podcast, explaining cybersecurity for a popular audience. She regularly addresses both specialist and non-specialist audiences, and has been named as one of the top 25 women in cybersecurity (IT Guru & SC Magazine). She is also a Freeman of the City of London and Chair of the Security Panel of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, the voice of the IT industry in the City. She serves on the Advisory Boards of Snapchat, cybersecurity provider Reliance ACSN, and the International Association of Internet Hotlines (INHOPE), and is a trustee of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.
Victoria Baines is a graduate of Trinity College, Oxford and holds a doctorate from the University of Nottingham. She is a Visiting Fellow at Bournemouth University’s School of Computing, a former Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford University, and was a guest lecturer at Stanford University in 2019 and 2020.