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

18,766 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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2626 - 2650 of 3,076 Reviews for IT Security: Defense against the digital dark arts

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Jan 29, 2023

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Oct 1, 2021

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Sep 10, 2021


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Jul 18, 2021



Jul 10, 2021

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Dec 6, 2020


By Mario P

Oct 3, 2020



Jun 15, 2020


By Mike W

Aug 20, 2018


By S A A

Jul 3, 2018


By M. D

Jun 28, 2020

Some of the questions were not as well written as they could have been. The criteria I use in this is the following: If I get a question wrong, am I able to learn something from the feedback? That is, as a student that has actually watched all the videos and reviewed all the written material, does any mistake that I make and the feedback provided help me clarify my understanding of the material? In some cases, it was just a matter of learning "the test believes the answer is A and C". It is completely fair to ask me to go back to this or that video or section, but in the cases where I did so, the questions often were not any clearer. Many of the questions were excellent, but I hope that there is analysis of the questions that students miss that is analyzed in terms of final score to better identify which questions created a struggle. In some cases, they are well worded and the struggle is the concepts or breadth of material, in some, a later reading might make it obvious that the question is poorly phrased. This will be even more pronounced in terms of impact for translated questions or second language learners.

By Tony L

Jul 2, 2019

Great for beginners. This course will help you start learning new things. Remember that are so many things the program can teach you. This helped me a crash start and this motivated me to learn more things outside this course. It can be overwhelming sometimes. I didn't give this a 5 star because there are some assignments that aren't helpful because there are so much that the program can teach you that it's rushed or not explained very well when you start doing assignments.

The nicest thing about this program is that you can start and finish it whenever it's convenient. There are deadlines but you can reset them. Although it's great that you can reset deadlines, you can get lazy and put it off. Believe me, it's hard. It has happened to me. The community and administrators in the forums are also helpful if you have problems or need help.

Hopefully, this certificate helps me land a job and every that finish this course.

By Sterling H

Aug 1, 2019

Pros: There is a lot of helpful information about security practices, malware, authentication and various security concepts. I learned about the types of tasks IT security professionals accomplish and some challenges they face with technology. The discussion prompts are fun and watching the career tip videos are helpful.

Cons: Many of the supplemental readings are links to complex and often confusing Wikipedia articles. I would prefer if google wrote their own content for the supplemental readings. Focusing more about troubleshooting IT security. The instructor wore a T shirt instead of professional clothing. Wearing a T shirt to teach a course reminds me of the unprofessional toxic bro culture that the tech industry is struggling with. Also I'm not fan of the peer graded assignments.

Overall: I recommend the course because one will gain exposure to the world IT security.

By Christopher B C

Mar 13, 2019

I wish that the final project's grading point rubric included the external website security as part of the grading rubric's requirement instead of being omitted despite the project itself saying that our documentation should include as such. Now that I have finished the final project, I had actually wished that the final project was harder by raising the number of points needed to complete the project. Reviewing the final project and seeing if a new version could be applied to this would benefit this course a lot better. Otherwise, I would recommend students to take this course, especially if they wanted to take the 5-course specialization that includes this and the other 4 courses as well.

By Stacy G

Jun 18, 2019

A nice introduction to security in IT technology! The course covers everything from software and user security problems, to network hardening from a pretty high level (generally pretty abstracted) overview. Just deep enough to understand how and why certain principles should apply to security, and not too much more - a nice course overall.

It would have been nice to have more labs, exploring different tools. There's one where you use tcpdump in Linux to do some traffic monitoring which is quite cool to check out, but the remaining majority of assignments are short quizzes and a detailed, peer-reviewed assignment you write at the end of the course. Nice presentation as always from Google.

By Dave C

Sep 26, 2019

This is intensive course. Much to learn. It is like learning the whole new language as trying to live in the foreign land. Not knowing exactly where things are and having to keep review and refer back to what I have just heard / learned. The practicing implementation is not as clear to me as it was guided step by step in many cases. But it helped a lot in the sense that helped me gain knowledge about the Integrated Technologies, and how it really is necessary tools that everyone should be equipped with no matter what field you are in. And thank goodness for those instructors, who seemed to have spent countless hours to make the learning more seamless.

By William B D

Mar 29, 2018

This is a great class, and I learned a lot.

However, the final assignment is not very fair. We are asked to provide recommendations and cover certain topics, but the rubric for grading ask for much more than what the assignment wants. This means there is a good change that after you have had the assignment graded by three peers, you will have to re-do the whole assignment and find three more people to review it.

Whoever wrote the assignment should have also been the one to write the grading rubric as well. The disconnect between the two is terrible.

By Jonathan M

Oct 28, 2018

Other than Networking section, this was one of the toughest courses, but very informational. The final peer review test was not straightforward enough on what to produce as a "report" result. It did not provide enough of what was expected (details). They should have hinted that details (password length, times, characters, 802.11x, SIDS, SIPS, etc.) was too specific on what was asked in the peer review and nothing about the concepts of security (layers or security, AD, Radius or other).

By Eddie M

Jun 20, 2018

i wish there was a way to get all the dialogue printed as a pdf file. it takes a lot of time and effort to find the material you need by clicking over one hudred links to see the transcript. im one of those people that likes a textbook for class. overall i think the most difficult course to understand the critical points of security. glad its over on to the next ! probably take the comptia A+ test after reviewing for free online or if coursera has a cheap class on it .

By Teresa M

Mar 29, 2021

Would have been more interesting if there were a variety of instructors. This course was more like a roving dictionary of terms. The videos did not prepare us very well for the qwiklabs. It was mostly acronym based without a good demonstration of the skills needed to pass the qwiklabs. I did appreciate the challenge of the final graded assessments. That is actually what I learned from the most as I researched a variety of websites in order to write the project.

By Ian M

Aug 4, 2020

Instructor was very clear and did a great job overall. Sometimes it was obvious that someone wrote this out. Teleprompter or not, it read like a George Lucas script in places. Just technical jargon flying at us. Not the teacher's fault. Could use a little more writing or a few more images on screen to help make sense as the jargon is being thrown at us. Overall, though, intelligently designed and professionally done. Again, the instructor was great! Thanks.

By Mikey B

Aug 15, 2020

It was not bad, definitely better than the last course. My only issue was sometimes the topics were very broad and then would get very detailed. This made the quizes difficult because the questions had range of difficulty. Sometimes the quiz questions would ask something that was only mentioned in one sentence of the lecture which made it difficult even to review. Would like to have used more tools in the class than just learning about computer security.

By Rodrigo G L

Dec 16, 2020

It's a huge amount of information fired like a machine gun. In general it is a good course, but I do not see the point of so many minutes of video dedicated to defining one term after another that could well be delivered in written format, the real benefit of audiovisual language is not taken.

Of the total of the course could be a complete specialization. Something like "Google Cyber Security Professional Certificate" would be appreciated in the future.