Sep 5th 2016

Cyber Security: Safety at Home, Online, in Life (FutureLearn)

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This three-week free online course explores practical cyber security including privacy online, payment safety and security at home. In the modern world, information security has an influence on all of us: at home, at work, online and in life in general. Like many inventions that have gone before, the internet and the web, the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT) bring with them many advantages, but also open up new possibilities for criminal activity.

So should you avoid all contact with this brave new world? This free online course presents an alternative, providing you with the knowledge to make informed decisions.

Understand key topics in cyber security

The course will introduce you to some of the current key topics in cyber security research and show how they relate to everyday life. We’ll look at how the move to online storage of personal data affects privacy, how online payments can be made safely, and how the proliferation of “smart” devices affect security.

Over the three weeks of the course we will look at these topics from different perspectives: the user’s, a potential attacker’s and a business’s. We’ll also discuss how research underway at Newcastle University addresses these topics.

1. Privacy online: What is privacy? We begin by looking into our own beliefs and practices when it comes to giving out our data online. What is the value of our personal data to businesses? And how can you find out what information about you is readily available online?

2. Payment safety: We make payments everyday, we purchase items at the store and we purchase items online, but how secure are these payments? How safe is our money? All of the different methods of payment cash, credit/debit card, cheque and bitcoin are a trade-off between security and convenience. We will look at constantly evolving race between the payment fraud and the security measures employed to prevent fraud.

3. Security at home: With increasing numbers of autonomous, internet-enabled devices in our homes and cars, on our wrists and in our clothes, how could they be misused? And what can we do about understanding and responding to the risks and threats?

Learn from cyber security researchers and practitioners

The course is presented by researchers and practitioners from Newcastle University’s School of Computing Science, an acknowledged Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR).

The team conduct research in areas such as cryptography and information assurance with a focus on understanding the human element of cyber security - victims, investigators and attackers. Each topic is led by a research expert in that field.