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Learner Reviews & Feedback for IT Security: Defense against the digital dark arts by Google

22,097 ratings

About the Course

This course covers a wide variety of IT security concepts, tools, and best practices. It introduces threats and attacks and the many ways they can show up. We’ll give you some background of encryption algorithms and how they’re used to safeguard data. Then, we’ll dive into the three As of information security: authentication, authorization, and accounting. We’ll also cover network security solutions, ranging from firewalls to Wifi encryption options. The course is rounded out by putting all these elements together into a multi-layered, in-depth security architecture, followed by recommendations on how to integrate a culture of security into your organization or team. At the end of this course, you’ll understand: ● how various encryption algorithms and techniques work as well as their benefits and limitations. ● various authentication systems and types. ● the difference between authentication and authorization. ● how to evaluate potential risks and recommend ways to reduce risk. ● best practices for securing a network. ● how to help others to grasp security concepts and protect themselves....

Top reviews


Feb 28, 2024

I loved the whole experience beginning to end. I came in already having a BA from state university. Well organized, well produced, and combined with note-taking this course is a no-brainer. Go for it!


Aug 13, 2023

Course was very knowledgeable and worth taking. I feel like the training wouldn't be complete if I didn't know about security and how important it is not just for me but for everyone using technology!

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1 - 25 of 3,537 Reviews for IT Security: Defense against the digital dark arts

By Joseph B

Aug 6, 2018

one of the most poor made courses I have ever had the displeasure of paying for. this course is BAD. and my standards for a good online course are pretty low. some of the various sins this course has to answer for are: 1. giving a definition for hardware standard, then linking to "an external reading if you want to learn more" and the FIRST line of that external reading directly conflicts with what the instructor just said.

2. Those "supplemental readings?" yeah 99% of those are links to wikipedias definition of the given subject. hope you weren't actually trying to learn or something.

3. A wonderful collection of the most aggravatingly non-specific multiple choice quiz questions, in which any of the given answers are true, but they're looking for a specific solution for a nonspecific problem so good luck figuring that out.

4. To compliment the non-specific quiz's they offer a fine selection of non-specific directions to writing assignments. only AFTER you submit your project are you able to find out what they are actually looking for. the most extreme example of this is in the final project directions, which one of my colleagues aptly described as "cryptic"

5. Do you like technical failures? cause they do! smash your face in frustration as the labs fail to grant write permissions to the hardrive you are supposed to be working on, your interactive tests gets garbled all over the screen, (and don't tell me that's a user error, I tried that test on 3 different OS's across 2 different machines) or random "Analyzing Background" messages flicker on and off the instructors face.

But its no big deal, there's always time for a couple political propaganda videos or google product promotion

Tldr: everything I hate about google, condensed into one place.

By Pratyush P

Nov 21, 2018

The first week of the course was quite good. However, starting with Week 2, the explanations became quite vague, and too technical.

If the information provided is vague, it should be about non-technical concepts. If the information is technical, it should be explained in detail and broken down to the learner. I expected great things going into this course, since it's being taught by Google.

I saw that the course didn't necessarily require prior knowledge from the previous 4 courses, but it would help if I had a background in IT. I cannot understand many concepts in this course even though I'm an IT graduate (and a good one). I expect math, visuals and demonstrations to be part of my course material when I'm enrolled in such a technical course. I didn't get enough of any of those.

The instructor is nice, knowledgeable, and friendly, and I don't know if I can solely blame him for this, but I didn't have enough supplementary info provided to me about the things I was learning. The links in our reading assignments were sometimes too technical and required additional research to understand. Maybe I'm too unintelligent for this course, I don't know, but I can't complete this course and claim to be someone who understands IT security. I wish you good luck in improving this course.

By Alexey M

Mar 30, 2018

This course is overloaded by formal theory. Attempts to explain complex concepts in simple language are weak. Practice is absolutely not enough. Also, final assignment is confusing: while it declares to create some description of real working system, it's goal is "just write down every technical term you heard".

It's a formal course, not about learning, just memorizing some tech terms.

By Tanner J T P

Apr 16, 2019

These were pretty cool courses that offer a lot of knowledge but the part where that talk about getting you information out to companies to help you start your career is fully true. They send you a survey that you select the companies you would like to share you information with out of they're selection, and that's it. There is no other follow up or anything as far as I've seen but I've been done with the program for workin on four months no with no other leads to helping me start my career. So it's great maybe to help boost a career you're already in but DO NOT TAKE THIS COURSE if you are using it to help START a career. Hope this helps some people out like me looking for a way into the industry.

By Nathaniel L

Apr 28, 2019

Interesting course. I loved covering security policies and digital threats. However, the virtual machines in this course wouldn't give me a grade after numerous, perfect completions. It was extremely upsetting to know that I literally did everything else perfectly, but can't get my grade in two labs. This means that I have to wait an undisclosed amount of time before I can get my certification. I have done everything else.

By Igor D

May 20, 2020

This course is very big disappointment. Among others it is the weakest one. One of most important topics nowadays is covered very slightly with bunch of generic and very obvious facts. Cryptography part is overloaded by unnecessary information and hard for memorizing terminology and procedures. Presenter is making not funny jokes and I lost in counting how many times he used statement "As an IT support Specialist you should..." Very annoying way of presenting study material.

BIG DISAPPOINTMENT. I would say maybe 5% od this course were useful.

By Che V F

Jun 28, 2018

They said we will be given option to advertise our cerificates to many enumerated companies upon completion. That is false. Don't fall for it

By Cameron M

Aug 19, 2018

While this course has been extremely informative and the instructor is great at explaining the information, I feel like all the courses in this program could implement more screen examples of what will be done in a day to day IT support role. Telling me only helps so much, showing me what you're talking about while this is going would be more helpful. This has, however, encouraged me to look up everything in forums and on youtube.

By Jakiela H

Sep 23, 2018

The course was very information and easy to follow I am not fond of the peer reviewed assignment, because I am done with this course, but I have to wait until someone grades my final peer assignment to be done with the complete course. I had to resubmit my final peer assignment three times, because my peers were not giving me any credit for recommendations that I clearly wrote. I appreciated the criticism, but I strongly believe that it is unfair to give someone no credit for something they they did do. In addition, there is no detailed rubric given prior to completing the final peer graded assignment.

By Likith R

Jul 1, 2020

Thank you Google, Qwiklabs and the Coursera team for giving me this wonderful opportunity to learn the vast IT world. Thank you for providing me with the knowledge and the start to a career in IT.

By Ashley W

Dec 12, 2018

Very difficult course. The last project/assignment took the longest to complete, but the sens of accomplishment that you feel upon finishing is worth it.

By Levi

Feb 17, 2020

This course will literally leads to nothing. I thought that I would get access to job opportunities as discussed in the introductory video, however, this was sadly not the case. You're better off learning from free library program subscriptions.

By Alina N

Sep 14, 2019

I am absolutely mind-blown!

Thank you for making me believe in myself.

All the instructors have done a fabulous job at delivering their profound knowledge so beautifully.

Really.....I can't thank you enough Coursera for helping me get through 6 whole courses!

And for introducing me to a new version of myself.

You deserve the best!


Your IT Support Specialist graduate,

Alina Nadeem

By derek s

Apr 26, 2018

Great course that is full of useful information and presented in an easy to understand way. It's an awesome beginner course that will add to your knowledge and further your knowledge of IT security.

By Menendez, L K

May 9, 2019

This is a very good course for someone who wants to have a good background in IT support and for someone who wants to have a refresher in IT.

By Darren S

Aug 16, 2018

This course was insane, all the possibilities, the potential for growth, and the different ways to help protect against cyber attacks. It was truly an eye-opening lesson in security. Thank you.

By Christopher M

Jun 23, 2019

This was the most interesting course in the section. If you put in a lot of work into the projects you will learn a lot from them.

By Julio F

Nov 14, 2018

It's a good course. They definitely teach you all ground basic concepts. However I WISH they would have involved classes on how to properly set up a router, build a server from scratch, you know things like that. WOULD HAVE BEEN AWESOME!

Overall is a good course if you have no knowledge at all and I would definitely recommend it.

By Rodney S I

Nov 25, 2018

This one was tough, but worth it. The peer review project is best worked on as you go through the course.

By Matt

Aug 28, 2020

Another 6 weeks of watching a man sit at a desk and spout acronyms at me, I hated this course so much and doubt I reatined any of the information listed. You took everything awful about attending lectures in person and found a way to put them in video form, while adding nothing that would improve upon the format. Very little graphics, graphs, or examples to clarify the information. Anything more than listing an acronym was apparently too involved for you to deal with.

By Alonzo W H

Nov 17, 2018

Very tough course with a lot of information on creating the best security possible for an individual computer, or an enterprise. The peer reviewed assignment will make you re-evaluate everything you learned and force you to provide ample detail for each area you are required to supply an answer for. No beginners or intermediate learners will pass the peer review the first time; it is difficult, but because of that I know more than I did after submitting my first peer review! Kudos!!

By Fernando S

Nov 24, 2018

I learned so much more from this course. More than 2 years of courses at a college. Thank you to those who worked on putting this course together.

By Ibrahim B

Apr 21, 2019

The best thing ever! This course has increased my confidence in real world and up-to-the-second skills for job readiness

By Edgar R

Dec 10, 2018

A lot of information. Pay attention. Push forward. You'll get it done.


Dec 4, 2020

An absolutely engaging and challenging feat that I am so proud to have completed. I hope this opens new door and better job opportunities so that I can better enhance my future. Thank you Google :)