Free cybersecurity courses for protection and education

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Cybersecurity can be a daunting subject to broach. With so many avenues to explore, it’s hard to know where to begin. Whether you’re looking for an introduction on the subject or looking to further your career in cybersecurity, it’s important to keep abreast of the changes across the industry. Plus, it definitely doesn’t hurt that the courses listed below are free!

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Please note that even though the university courses on this list are free, they require payment for certification. Further, they should be viewed as an introduction to a wider school of knowledge and are a great starting point before considering industry-level certification. 

School’s in session!

Preface to cybersecurity

Intro to digital wellbeing

Google Digital Garage

Access course: here 

Modules: 1

Hours: 1

Level: beginner

Before we jump into anything too comprehensive, let’s begin with the Intro to Digital Wellbeing course by Google Digital Garage. This course has been developed to educate users on how best to form and maintain healthy tech habits. Users can also expect to learn how to be self-aware about their internet usage.

YouTube crash courses

Learn Cyber Security in 8 Hours

Simplilearn

Access course: here

Duration: 8:10:42

Level: beginner

The Learn Cyber Security in 8 Hours course by Simplilearn roughly fits into the length of a single working day. Topics covered include what cybersecurity is and why it’s important, different types of cyberattacks (with demonstrations included), and an introduction to ethical hacking. Not a bad way to spend the day!

Cyber Security Full Course

Computer Science Lesson

Access course: here

Duration: 14:29:00

Level: beginner to intermediate

The Cyber Security Full Course by Computer Science Lesson provides comprehensive insight into cybersecurity, network security, information security, CompTIA security, and denial-of-service attacks. At around 14 hours in total, you can probably cover this in a single weekend. 

Intro to Cybersecurity

CBT Nuggets

Access course: here

Duration: 00:52:32

Level: beginner

At 52 minutes, the Intro to Cybersecurity course by Computer Based Training is the shortest course in this list. The course covers basics like firewalls, certifications, real-world cybersecurity applications, and an introduction to VPNs. You could probably fit this one into your lunch hour.

Cyber Security Training for Beginners

Edureka

Access course: here

Duration: 31:19:29

Level: beginner to intermediate

The Cyber Security Training for Beginners course by Edureka is designed from the ground up to teach you absolutely everything that you need to know in the realm of cybersecurity. Across the 47 videos offered, topics include cryptography, stenography, phishing, and comparisons of different security-focused distributions of Linux. With over 31 hours of content, it’s probably best spread over the course of a couple days.

Network Penetration Testing for Beginners

freeCodeCamp.org

Access course: here

Duration: 14:51:13

Level: beginner

A penetration test, or ethical hack, is a simulated cyberattack designed to help testers discover flaws in a system. At just under 15 hours in length, this freeCodeCamp ethical hacking course introduces users to the required knowledge for pursuing a career in cybersecurity. This one’s especially fun as it teaches users how to develop their own Active Directory in Windows, make it vulnerable, compromise it, then patch it. 

Select free university courses 

Cybersecurity for Business Specialization

University of Colorado via Coursera

Access course: here

Duration: approximately 5 months

Level: beginner

The Cybersecurity for Business Specialization has been designed around the premise that there are two types of companies out there: the ones who have been breached, and those who will be breached. Ominous? Maybe not! This offering from the University of Colorado is broken up into four modules: Introduction to Cybersecurity for Business, Cyber Threats and Attack Vectors, Detecting and Mitigating Cyber Threats and Attacks, and Proactive Computer Security.

Introduction to Cyber Security: Stay Safe Online

The Open University

Access course: here

Duration: approximately 24 hours

Level: beginner

The Open University’s Introduction to Cyber Security course is designed to teach students how to protect their digital lives, and covers topics like malware, viruses, trojans, identity theft, and risk management. Videos (with included transcripts) and printed course materials are also made available to students.

Cybersecurity and Privacy in the IoT

Curtin University via edX

Access course: here

Duration: 5 weeks

Level: beginner

The Internet of Things refers to internet-connected smart devices that can be controlled remotely via smartphones or tablets. Some examples of this include fridges, home security cameras, and door locks. The Cybersecurity and Privacy in the IoT course is designed to introduce students to the potential security risks of these devices and how to avoid them.

Cyberwar, Surveillance, and Security

The University of Adelaide via edX

Access course: here

Duration: 6 weeks

Level: beginner

An insightful introduction into privacy laws, national security, and global surveillance. Of note, students will learn about the impact of surveillance technologies and the nature and consequences of cyberactivism and cyberwar.

Digital Footprint

The University of Edinburgh via Coursera

Access course: here

Duration: 9 hours

Level: beginner

A great introduction to the digital footprint that we leave in the online world. Social media activity, tagged images, and scraps of text are but some of the breadcrumbs we trail in our online activities. In this course, students will learn various methods for effectively managing their online presence.

Introduction to Cybersecurity Tools & Cyber Attacks

IBM via Coursera

Access course: here

Duration: approximately 20 hours

Level: beginner

Developed by IBM, the Introduction to Cybersecurity Tools & Cyber Attacks course aims to provide students with a rudimentary understanding of the cybersecurity landscape. The course focuses on the history of cybersecurity, types and motives for cyber attacks, and key terminology and basic concepts.

Data Privacy Fundamentals

Northeastern University via Coursera

Access course: here

Duration: approximately 9 hours

Level: beginner

This course has been designed to introduce students to the rise of data privacy issues and how it now affects both public and private organizations. Over the course of the program, students will hear testimony from legal and technical experts on real world applications and consequences of data privacy breaches. Data privacy issues pertaining to journalism and biometrics will also be explored. 

Career development

IBM Security Learning Services

IBM Security Learning Academy

Access courses: here

The IBM Security Learning Academy provides free training courses and modules for various IBM Security products and services including: Cyber Security Fundamentals, IBM Security Credentials, X-Force Threat Intelligence, Guardium, and QRadar.   

Microsoft Technologies Training

Microsoft Learn

Access courses: here

Free security courses and modules for various Microsoft products and services including: Azure, Windows, Microsoft 365, Office 365, and Microsoft Teams.  

Cybersecurity courses

Cisco Networking Academy

Access courses: here and here

The Introduction to Cybersecurity and Cybersecurity Essentials courses offered by Cisco offer a total of 13 modules between them and cover practice labs, quizzes, activities, and a final exam. 

 

Read more: How to start a career in cybersecurity

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