Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online
Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online

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Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online

Week 1: Threat landscape


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Hi, I'm Cory Doctorow, and I'll be your guide through this eight week course, catching up with you each week to recap on what we've covered and how it relates to what you'll be learning during the week. I used to be the European director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. That's a campaigning civil liberties group in San Francisco that, among other things, legalised the use of strong cryptography around the world and continues to be involved in a lot of important struggles. I'm also a visiting professor at the Open University, and I hold an honorary doctorate in Computer Science from the OU.
At the start of the course, you'll learn the basics of information security and how to take some easy steps to secure your digital life. We'll then begin to look under the hood, exploring some of the technologies underpinning the internet and information security. You'll see how data moves between computers over the internet, how it can be attacked, and how it can be kept secure.
What if you are attacked? We'll also be looking at ways to deal with the aftermath, as well as steps you can take to prevent any future attacks from being successful. By the end of the course, you'll know how to recognise online threats. You'll know what steps to take to reduce any chance of being harmed by them, and you'll know how to feel secure in your digital life. This week you'll be learning some of the basic terminology used when discussing information security. You'll also start to learn about the different threats you'll face online.
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Welcome to this free course, Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online.

Cory Doctorow is your guide through this course. He is a visiting professor at The Open University. He’ll meet you at the start of each week to let you know what’s coming up and remind you of what you’ve learned so far to help you make the most of your learning.

About the course

Your journey into the world of cyber security and protecting your digital life has been organised into eight weeks of study. The first three weeks focus on understanding the basics of cyber security. This includes an exploration of the security threat landscape, together with some of the basic techniques for protecting your computers and your online information.

You’ll then look ‘under the hood’, exploring some of the technologies that underpin the internet and cyber security. This will include gaining an understanding of how computers are connected in a network and how the data transmitted across that network is kept secure.

In the final two weeks of the course, you’ll look at what can be done if you suffer a successful cyber security attack and how to develop an action plan. As part of this, you’ll learn about both the legal and technical aspects of recovering from an attack.

This course will not only help you take steps to protect yourself online, such as how to create a strong password, but also provide an overview of cyber security from the security threat landscape to how the internet works. It will also provide a foundation for further study of this important discipline.

To test your knowledge you can try the end-of-week practice and end-of-course compulsory badge quizzes.

The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.


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