Cybersecurity vs. cybercrime: Hear a Radford University faculty member discuss the difference

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice ‘Shawn Smith will talk about his newly released textbook, “Cybercrime and Digital Deviance,” on the With Good Reason public radio program.
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice ‘Shawn Smith

‘Shawn Smith, Ph.D., sees cybersecurity and cybercrime as being similar to the comparison of salt and sugar.

“Visually, at a glance, the two appear similar, but upon closer inspection they are conceptually quite distinct,” says Smith, a Radford University assistant professor of criminal justice and criminologist who frequently explores crime and emerging technologies.

Cybersecurity and cybercrime are often “conflated,” Smith explains. However, “both subjects are complex enough that they warrant closer consideration as separate disciplines.”

That is one reason he, and Rod Graham, an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at Old Dominion University, co-authored the recently published textbook, “Cybercrime and Digital Deviance.”

Another reason for book, Smith says, is that “criminal justice professionals are increasingly being asked to raise their digital literacy both on the job market and subsequently after they’ve settled into their respective career paths.”

For this reason, Smith continues “departments like our own [Radford University Department of Criminal Justice] will need to be forward-thinking in our pedagogy and course offerings.”

Smith and Graham recently recorded an interview on the With Good Reason public radio program discussing the book and the importance of distinguishing between cybercrime and cybersecurity. They also examined various risks of digital information to the general public and the “nature of cybervictimization and current data known on the prevalence of such victimization,” Smith notes.

The interview will air December 6-12 on more than 100 With Good Reason stations across the United States.

Listeners in the New River Valley can hear the show at 6 p.m., Tuesday, December 10, on Public Radio WVRU 89.9. Programs are available as podcasts at

With Good Reason is produced by Virginia Humanities for the Virginia Higher Education Broadcasting Consortium, which is comprised of all of Virginia’s public colleges and universities.

The award-winning program is heard by an estimated 100,000 people each week on public radio stations in 33 states, including Virginia and Washington D.C. Thousands more download the episodes via iTunes.


Dec 6, 2019
Chad Osborne