'CSI: Cyber' Cybercrime Fighters Are Here to Teach You About Tech

Shad Moss and Patricia Arquette in a scene from 'CSI: Cyber.' Ron P. Jaffe /CBS

"Want to see my new ride?" the child star formerly known as Bow Wow (now Shad Moss) asks me with exaggerated nonchalance right before our interview on the set of CSI: Cyberthe digital iteration of the CSI franchise. Skeptical, I follow him out to the parking lot of CBS's massive complex in Studio City, California. As I turn the corner, my heart sinks as I see said ride, far from pimped: It's an ordinary golf cart. He stands beside me, a goonish grin on his face.

This is the same fellow whose task is to instruct the world about cybercrime in CSI: Cyber. He plays Brody Nelson, a hacker on a cyber-crime-fighting FBI team led by Avery Ryan (Patricia Arquette). The show purports to be "edutaining" for adults looking to, you guessed it, be informed and engaged about the technology that's ever encroaching on our lives.

While none of the stars of CSI: Cyber admit to being tech genuises, they've all picked up a thing or two from their time on the show. Below, the show's three stars share thoughts on tech savviness, hackers, gadgets and more.

Shad Moss

Do you consider yourself tech savvy?

I do. The main reason is I've been playing video games my whole life. And that's just one stepping stone to the next thing for me...the GoPro, and I know how to set it over there but control it with my iPhone. My fiance is like, "I can't download these files," and I'm like, "Baby, you don't have enough RAM space."

What have you learned from the show?

Two things that I definitely learned: Not turning off your gadgets...that's a bad thing because even if it is asleep it is still connected to WiFi, which makes it vulnerable and you're putting yourself at risk. Another thing is storing your pictures on a computer that is connected to WiFi. It is better to put them on a flashdrive. Or if you are going to put pictures on a computer, do it on one that doesn't connect, which means all ethernet.

And what have you learned about hackers from the show?

I wouldn't say hackers are crazy—the types of crimes that they do are crazy. But these guys are smart as hell. You're talking about guys who know how to crack into the White House, I wouldn't even know where to begin on my own MacBook. I mean where do you go, whitehouse.org?


Are you tech savvy?

I was somewhat technologically savvy before, but I have learned so much about how vulnerable we are...if it connects it is vulnerable. I really started to ask the question: Does this need to be connected to the Internet? I've made a choice to be a little simpler with my technology choices after this show.

What will the audience learn?

In 15, 20 years everyone will know what malicious script is and never to click on a popup that says to update your software. All these things that I think a lot of people—at least I—wasn't aware of.


Do you consider yourself to be tech savvy?

No I do not. Before, during or after. I do know a lot more than I knew, a lot more. There is a long way to go. What is crazy about making this show, this technology is constantly morphing and it is very difficult for law enforcement to keep up. It is the Wild West and we are in crazy times.

What have you learned from the show?

You should cover your cameras, you should have dual-verification emails, you should only do your banking on one device. It depends how crazy you want to go with everything.