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

18,722 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


Apr 9, 2022

Great course for beginners and experts. Easy to understand and a good refresher for those who have been into IT for a long date. Recommend it to everyone looking for a high quality course on coursera.


Apr 25, 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.

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2651 - 2675 of 3,073 Reviews for IT Security: Defense against the digital dark arts

By Bernadette S

Oct 17, 2022

I had to complete this course in three months as per the requirement from the military resource page that I found it on. Thirty weeks of content rolled into three months time is extensive and I would not wish that timeframe on any person. There is alot of useful information to be had and I wish that this course was formulated at a slower pace for people to fully grasp the material that is provided. More hands on labs would also be beneficial.

By Joseph G

Jul 7, 2019

A thorough foundational course in information security, to be sure. But I did find it a bit difficult to absorb the more intricate material given that it was distributed rapidly through longer (than usual) videos. I personally think that this course, its concepts would be better digested via shorter videos and more in the way of diagrams and other visual aids. I found myself stopping many of the videos and rewinding them just to take notes.

By Christopher M

Sep 2, 2019

This course is really superb for introducing cybersecurity best practices, though it offers so many different analytical tools that relatively few are looked at in depth and it would benefit from more labs. That said, this course made me more conscious about how I treat security and helped me think analytically about risks that are taken on a given network, which made it very useful. I'm excited to apply this knowledge in a new role!

By Robert R

Dec 25, 2022

This was a great course for me. I would have given it 5 stars, however, it is a few years outdated. some of the information is 5 years old and that is old in the technology world. They presented WPA2 as the top wireless protection and we are now using WPA3 for one example. also many of the articles that are for external reading are very dated as well. great course just hope they update some of the content soon for future students.

By Thu B

Dec 8, 2019

A bit shock at first. So many concepts to absorb at a very short time. My compliment to the team to condense all these complicated concepts into a concise and easily digested content. This course content gave me the essential frame to expand my knowledge in this area. I read some of the documents on the net and really admired the good job the team had done to convey such huge and complex field to us.

By Luis B

Mar 4, 2022

I really enjoyed this course! One recommendation - please revisit closed captions. Sometimes the closed captions block the demonstrations at the bottom of the video, especially in the lessons demonstrating running a terminal in Linux. Also some closed captions misidentify the lecturers' words and the wrong word is used, which can lead to confusion when the lecturer is teaching a concept. Thanks!!

By Mohamed F A A

Apr 21, 2021

This is an excellent course that I will recommend to any one who want to work as an IT Support Professionnal and thank you to all contributors indeed. However this course will be more effective with more hands on labs or indicating how to setup a fictive IT Infrastructure for a given organisation using simulator tool such as GNS3 for example.... Good continuation Google in helping people!

By Landon M

Nov 13, 2020

The one negative of this course is that it is a lot of information just being thrown at you. There are very few ways to actually put the information you learn into practice through labs or other means. This being said, the overall course is great, it teaches you a lot and reinforces information that you may have already had and I would recommend it for anyone that is interested in IT.

By SecureGive

Jul 1, 2020

It's a great course! I learned a ton, and the presenter did a great job! The only reason I didn't give the course 5 stars is because a lot of topics aren't covered in enough detail to help you really understand them. A lot of topics are given such a high level overview that I had to research the topics on other websites to really understand them. Otherwise, it's a great course!

By Don G M

Apr 9, 2019

Very informative with a broad range of topics, and nicely explained with smart multiple choice quizzes. However, rather than showing the instructor speaking most of the time, it would be MUCH more helpful if they put up static diagrams or key points on the screen. Some of the content is complex, so diagrams on the screen while he's speaking will help greatly.

By Brooke F

Sep 11, 2018

This was a pretty interesting course. I really wish there was some more hands on. It was very much theory and concepts with no demonstration on how to implement most of it. Yes there was links to some third party, or open source, programs that could help with secure, but no real world how to implement or do anything. I did learn a lot though.

By Martin D

May 5, 2019

Pro: Lots of good information. Has definitely motivated me to learn more about this important subject. I really liked having the transcript available.

Con: Hands on labs are good, but they seemed a bit superficial. Would have been nice to have multiple presenters, perhaps teach various concepts through interviews with expert practitioners.

By David T

Nov 9, 2021

Very broad overview of Computer Security Tools and Techniques, but not enough depth to attain a working knowledge of any of the itemes presented, just an understanding of what they do. As an experienced computer programmer I found the class to be way to easy, but perhaps I should have selected a harder course!

By Dean L

Aug 8, 2021

A very broad introduction to network security. Would have liked more visual aids when talking about the complex way that different servers work. Missed doing the labs like the previous course: IT Systems Administration. Was a great way for me to level up my knowledge. I had to really study to take it all in

By Justin T

Jul 13, 2018

This course didn't teach about how viruses are made or anything like that. I does teach about which and how many systems are needed to properly protect other systems from malicious attacks. As such, it teaches a lot of terms and names of systems. It was a struggle to get through but commit and it will happen!

By Jeffery R

Oct 27, 2018

The final peer-reviewed project is a boondoggle. It throws you in blind. The grading rubric adds in concepts not mentioned in the prompt. I felt bad for marking my peers down in points for this reason. The sample is locked until after the assignment is completed, which makes it almost completely useless.

By angelo e

Aug 26, 2022

The course was very imformative, although some topic felt like they needed to be divided up a little more for clarities sake. Cause some topics are to technical especially for new learners. Some videos that were to long just needed to be divided up to make the subject more clearer and easier to understand.

By Frank L

Jul 17, 2019

I enjoyed this course and thought it was very thorough. My only suggestion would be to improve some of the aspects of being able to move on or view locked items. For instance, I couldn't view a final project sample until I already submitted my final project. So I didn't have as much reference.

By David M

Aug 30, 2019

This covered a lot of dense concepts in a very approachable way, and I feel like I learned a lot! It could be improved by having more hands-on learning through labs, and I felt the final project could have been more challenging (I put a lot of thought into it, but you automatically get %100)

By Rizalito C

May 4, 2020

The course was very informative and well designed for beginners and the like. I would definitely recommend this course to friends and family. and the Instructor was definitely knowledgeable about the subject matter. Thanks for making this course available for individuals like myself.

By Andre M

Jan 23, 2023

There were few glitches and a couple of spots where the correct response was marked as wrong or where the multiple-choice selections didn't match the question. And overall the course needs to be updated since a lot of the info is from as far back as 2017. But still a great foundation

By Brent F

Nov 15, 2022

This course was great. It was easy to follow, the lectures were short and easy to take in small increments. the only issues I had was trying to translate quizzes from Russian to English so I could complete them, and the support team was unable to figure out why that was occurring.

By Zohra G

Nov 27, 2020

This course my dream which 6-8 years I had it unfortunately I have not had access to it. Even though I changed my career but after my dream came true I could not wait I kept continuing to learn that streaming granted an opportunity. Thank you Google and Coursera!!!

By Benjamin P

Jan 19, 2021

Lots of great information, and it truly did help to increase my knowledge in the fields of IT and System Networking. It remains to be seen whether or not this will help to advance my job opportunities and career. It was an extremely rewarding learning opportunity.

By Richard H

May 5, 2020

One of the best of the 5 courses. The instructor was clearly stating what we were doing and what we needed to know. It may have been the material but I felt I learned more here than in other courses. It gets 4 stars because there should be more labs.