14 free online courses to help you learn more about computer security

14 free online courses about computer security

Get a better understanding of cybersecurity with this list of free online courses that you can take to become more cyber-aware

Get a better understanding of cybersecurity with this list of free online courses that you can take to become more cyber-aware

The internet offers a great variety of free courses about cybersecurity topics that are available in English and on various platforms.

If you are on the lookout for an opportunity to learn more about computer security, we recommend that you peruse this list of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that prestigious universities from across the world make available on different platforms.

The courses cover a range of topics and are suitable for users with various levels of knowledge, from beginners to the more advanced. That way, beginners have the chance to learn more about information security, while people with advanced knowledge or those wishing to immerse themselves in specific subject matters will also find great learning opportunities on our list.

Importantly, although all courses are online and free, they do not come with certificates. However, in most cases, if you want to have your training validated after completing the course, you can obtain a certificate from the teaching institution upon payment of a stipulated fee.

Let’s proceed to our selection of free online courses in computer security:

  1. Information Security: Context and Introduction

This six-week course will introduce you to the world of, and context around, information security. You will receive a brief introduction on topics such as cryptography and security management, both in networks and devices. In addition, you will learn about a number of concepts related to the world of information security.

  • Taught by: University of London
  • Language: English
  • Platform: Coursera
  1. International Cyber Conflicts

Presented by The State University of New York, this free online course aims to introduce you to a subject that goes beyond borders: cyber-conflicts. It will provide you with an insight into the analysis and management of cyber-conflicts and incidents and into the development of cybercrime policies. To tackle this type of problem, we need an interdisciplinary perspective that includes an understanding of cyber-threats, international efforts aimed at reducing and improving cybersecurity, as well as sociopolitical factors.

After completing the course, the participants will have learned to identify types of actors involved in cyber-conflicts and various types of threats. In addition, they will be able to list international efforts that seek to combat cybercrime, among other things.

The course, which is aimed at an international audience, is intended to promote discussion about current issues with the aim of enriching the experience with various cultural perspectives.

  • Taught by: State University of New York
  • Language: English
  • Platform: Coursera
  1. Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies

This course aims to explain, at a technical level, how bitcoin works and what makes it special. In addition, it will answer some of the following questions: How secure are your bitcoins? How anonymous are the users of this cryptocurrency? How is its price determined? Can cryptocurrencies be regulated? What lies in store for them?

These are just some of the questions that this eleven-week-long course answers.

  • Taught by: Princeton University
  • Language: English
  • Platform: Coursera
  1. Cryptography I

Cryptography is a fundamental tool for protecting information in computer systems. In this seven-week course taught by Stanford University, you will learn how cryptography works and how it is used by some real-world applications. It will also teach you some “tricks” in using this technique.

  • Taught by: Stanford University
  • Language: English
  • Platform: Coursera
  1. Internet History, Technology, and Security

Over a period of eleven weeks, this course invites you to study the impact of technology on our lives and its importance in today’s society. The course shows how the internet was created, who built it, and how it works. It will also introduce you to several innovators who developed the internet and the technologies that we use today.

  • Taught by: University of Michigan
  • Language: English
  • Platform: Coursera
  1. Network Security

This free online course, which is offered on Udacity by the Georgia Institute of Technology, aims to provide an introduction into network and computer security. It takes place over sixteen weeks and, after completing the course, the participants will have acquired basic skills in security research.

The course begins with an introduction into cryptography and security systems, before delving deeper into a wide range of security topics. The topics covered include network security, authentication, security protocol design and analysis, security modeling, trusted computing, program security, threat detection, detection and mitigation of DDoS, architecture and operation of security systems, security policies, web security, and others.

  • Taught by: Georgia Tech
  • Language: English
  • Platform: Udacity
  1. Applied Cryptography

This two-month free online course is part of a course on machine learning engineering taught by Udacity.

Aimed at users with an advanced level of the underlying concepts, this course begins by explaining the mathematical basis behind cryptography. Then it goes on to explain how to use cryptography to solve problems, and manage user passwords and transactions, among other things.

  • Taught by: Udacity
  • Language: English
  • Platform: Udacity
  1. Cybersecurity: understanding attacks in order to deploy countermeasures

King Juan Carlos University in Madrid offers this free online course about computer security that will introduce the participants into the world of cybersecurity.

During this six-week program, the students will learn about attacks at the network level, systems and services, malware and Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), cryptography and network-level countermeasures, present-day challenges, and future trends.

(Please note this is offered in Spanish and Portuguese only)

  • Taught by: King Juan Carlos University
  • Language: Spanish
  • Platform: Miríada X
  1. Introduction to Cyber Security

Supported by the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Programme, the Open University of the United Kingdom offers this free online introductory course on cybersecurity.

This course aims to give users an opportunity to understand key issues related to online security, so that they can use technology more safely, both at home and at work.

It will delve into topics such as network security, cryptography, threat identification and risk management, types of threats, the use of passwords, two-factor authentication, threat detection, virtual private networks, and others.

  • Taught by: Open University
  • Language: English
  • Platform: Future Learn
  1. Cyber Security for Small and Medium Enterprises: Identifying Threats and Preventing Attacks

In this course, you will learn what a cyberattack is and explore some of the most common threats faced by small and medium enterprises. The topics include the main threats posed and methods used by cybercriminals, the consequences of cyberattacks for small and medium enterprises, and preventive strategies and tools to protect your organization.

  • Taught by: Deakin University
  • Language: English
  • Platform: Future Learn
  1. Cyber Security: Safety at Home, Online, in Life

This free online course, presented by researchers and practitioners of Newcastle University’s School of Computer Science (United Kingdom) and delivered over three weeks, covers topics related to cybersecurity in everyday life, such as online privacy and how the move to online storage can put your privacy at risk. It also shows how online payments can be made safely, and how the proliferation of “smart devices” affects security.

  • Taught by: Newcastle University
  • Language: English
  • Platform: Future Learn
  1. Secure Android App Development

Delivered four hours per week over a period of four weeks, this course presented by the University of Southampton aims to introduce you to the security of mobile devices and teach you how to develop secure Android applications.

The topics covered by the program include the importance of mobile security, security architecture on Android, and static code analysis.

  • Taught by: University of Southampton
  • Language: English
  • Platform: Future Learn
  1. Network Security for Industry Professionals

Given the rising number of attacks lately, companies have been increasingly concerned about the security of their networks. This means that organizations must be aware of issues related to network security and of the need to protect themselves from this type of attack.

This free online course, delivered over only three weeks, aims to explain techniques implemented for network security. It will cover some software vulnerabilities that can be used to attack a system and possible defense strategies to mitigate such attacks. In addition, the participants will learn to identify different types of attacks targeting network security and how companies and individuals can identify a threat within their own network.

  • Taught by: Queen’s University Belfast
  • Language: English
  • Platform: Future Learn
  1. Cybersecurity Fundamentals

As suggested by its name, this course seeks to introduce students to the pillars of cybersecurity so that they can learn how to detect threats, protect systems and networks, anticipate potential attacks, and learn about the fundamentals of cryptography, among other topics. It takes place over eight weeks and is aimed at users with advanced knowledge of the subject matter.

  • Taught by: Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Language: English
  • Platform: EdX

Do you know of any online course on security that is not included in our list? If so, please share it in the comments section!

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