I recently begun a free online course in cyber security, run in part by the Open University.
My overall feeling was that the course was beneficial and my time reading and contributing was well worth it. See my review below. I'm currently about to start my third instalment.
How does it work as an online course?
It’s split into sections and the first one was probably more of a basic introduction (I’m expecting more specifics and terminology as it progresses). As someone who works in a software company but is not technical myself, I felt it was easy to understand. Whether someone with no background in technology would grasp it, I’m not sure (but probably would not be interested in spending their free time doing the course anyway).
Each week is further split into sections – it is bite sized if you need to do other things in between topics.
Each section typically has either a video, a page of information, a link to further information, or a request to research and write a few paragraphs about any given subject.
These findings should then be added to the comments section (a bit like submitting an essay… if an essay was like a long Facebook comment…)
Is it interesting?
Yes. If you’re interested at all in online security, or concerned about your personal info swirling around the internet, I think you will enjoy the course and be interested in the information and case studies it provides.
Will it help me stay safe online?
It requires you to evaluate your own security (I am hesitant to share this information with them, although I’m sure there’s no harm in doing so), so I think it will make you more aware of threats, attacks, and things like phishing emails, as well as making you think about easy ways to improve personal cyber security.
This week I will be learning about malware and more phishing stuff, I think. I will provide a further review once I am done with the entire course.