Valley Ranch Library Hosts Cyber Expert

Written by Katie Combest

Irving — The Sherlocked Irving Adult Winter Challenge continued as Dr. Scott Belshaw speaking about cybercrime at Valley Ranch Library on Monday, Feb. 10.

“Most of the detective work today has a cyber aspect to it, so I contacted Dr. Scott Belshaw from the University of North Texas and asked him to come speak on the topic,” librarian Jennifer Shaw said.

While Sherlock hustled on foot to solve various crimes, most detective work today is done via the internet, not in person. Detectives can track suspects, obtain necessary records, and video record their suspects by using technology.

Belshaw, a former private investigator turned tenured associate professor in criminal justice at UNT, defines cybercrime as a crime committed on the internet, on local networks, or even against an isolated computer. 

“No one is exempt from cybercrime,” Belshaw said. 

Mary, a senior citizen, was thrilled this talk was taking place. 

“I want to make sure I keep everything as safe as possible, and I am still learning,” Mary said. 

Belshaw advised extreme caution when considering connecting technological devices to vehicles. He was adamant about never connecting devices to rented cars. Once a technological device is connected to a vehicle, all personal information downloaded from the device to the car’s chip. 

Some other key points Belshaw spoke about were to avoid any emails that seem suspicious, use password keepers, use system firewalls, use VPNs, use anti-virus and anti-malware software, choose very strong passwords, always update your software on all devices.

The audience sighed when Belshaw brought up the fact that many hackers disguise themselves by looking like more trusted networks.

“The best way to not get hacked is to have bad credit and to drive a 1971 Buick,” Belshaw said.

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