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

22,274 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


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!


Jun 30, 2023

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.

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76 - 100 of 3,560 Reviews for IT Security: Defense against the digital dark arts

By Harry R

Feb 17, 2022

amazing course with a alot of content that are applicable

By Tony F

Sep 11, 2021

this is a lot better than Linkedin online learning,

By Davis N

Oct 10, 2020

Exhausting but worth it !!

By William L

Jul 1, 2022

Very out dated but goes into detail on some very relevant concepts and covers the topics well. A good majority of the information is still relevant nad provides a solid foundation and inderstanding of IT. The supplemental reading aspect is a little disappointing because the point of a course is to make education more focused and manageable and some the infromation in the supplemaental reading is very useful and would have been great to be referenced or conslidated into a more manageable format instead oflinking to a 20 page whitepaper or article, etc.

By Andrew M

Apr 9, 2023

Overall, I liked it. However, it would be best to break the videos down from 7-8 minutes to 3-4 minutes. Also, for all 5 courses, can you provide a outline for each week? I think downloading an outline prior to a new week will get people more prepared for the week.

By Sarah H

Jul 1, 2021

too much info (too much terms that is explained) but not enough practice.

By Mikhail M

Oct 27, 2019

I enjoyed "The Bits and Bytes of Computer Networking" as much as I am disappointed in "IT Security" course.

1. The instructor usually does not bother to provide explanatory images or diagrams. He just talks and expects us to build the full image in the head. He uses many abbreviations, some of which were not introduced before. Hm, what do you have the video for? For instance, Kerberos protocol. The diagram (wow, they have one) includes "KDC". It is never explained what it is. The helpful diagram is hidden while the instructor talks about what happens in the protocol. C'mon, do you really think that your face is more important than the diagram in this case?

2. The information is very high-level and I just can't see how it might form a proper structure. "Digital signature is used to proof authenticity". Ok. I new that. If anyone does not know that, they can easily guess from its name. How exactly does it do this? How exactly is the private key applied to form a signature? The answer is actually simple: append a digest formed as a message hash encrypted with a private key. But this is not in the video.

3a. Some information is plain wrong! E.g. "But the output should be unique to the input, such that two different inputs should never yield the same output". This is theoretically not possible, since the size of a hash is fixed, while the size of a message is arbitrary.

3b. Another example: Diffie–Hellman. The instructor says "combine the numbers" and the image shows "+" sign. You might think this is addition. But it is not. It would make no sense to use addition here. The algorithm actually uses power by module operation, but it is omitted from the course.

By Alex S

Apr 14, 2020

On the whole, great foundation. But the number of quizzes vastly outnumber the labs - decidedly not "hands on" - and the labs present held my hand the whole way. The technical detail is sparse and the quizzes were confusingly worded. I loved the certificate on the whole, but the last two courses were significantly less engaging than the ones before them.

By Hans T

Jul 7, 2018

Missing transciprts, spelling mistakes in transcripts, lots of missing supplemental readings. What is the point of offering a course when no one checks the basics are right?

By Anthony D

Dec 5, 2020

Lots of talking and almost no hands on that explains how to explement or how to actually use the knowledge and practices they talk about.

By Naman K N

Jun 30, 2020

I was lost while studying this course many times. Often the critical concepts were just spoken, at least have a PPT of critical concepts


Jun 6, 2020

I have submitted my verification still lot of delay in my certificate , it's really very frustrating

By Brian

Mar 5, 2021

Much too dense to absorb, and not necessary for an *entry-level* IT position.

By Taylor G

May 24, 2020

lots of technical stuff really fast without lots of examples not my favorite.

By Matthew J L G

Dec 1, 2021

This course is very awful for a couple of reasons. Threat of being locked out of quizzes for day for not getting 80 or above. The course lectures are absolutely awful the information is very redundant and not specific they take 1 year to get to a point. This course is extremely difficult and you will fail quizzes. Not because you're stupid but because this course was poorly made. If you want proof start watching videos and see how many mistakes they have to correct. I am positive alot of these reviewers used google to pass. They also must be fake because it does not take much to realize this is trash.

By Jake M

Dec 11, 2022

I feel like I have barely learned a thing. The videos were boring and felt so unauthentic. I think I'd have learned more in an actual classroom.

By Sasha B

Mar 12, 2018

Courses developed for people who didn't see computers and Internets in their life even one time. Good for my grandmom.

By Carmos1970

Jun 6, 2019

terrible support when u have problems using there software for labs! and by terrible i mean zero support!

By Amit S

Jul 19, 2022

The lectures are all over the place. The content does not flow well and it super hard to follow along.

By Jose L A D N

Jan 16, 2022

They charge me after i finish the espezialization

By Francesco B

Jun 12, 2024

Course Review: "IT Security: Defense against the digital dark arts" As an Engineering student interested in the intricacies of cybersecurity, I enrolled in the course "IT Security: Defense against the digital dark arts" with high expectations, and I must say, it exceeded them in every aspect. Offered by [Name of Institution/Platform], this course delves deep into the fundamental principles and practical applications of IT security, making it a valuable resource for both beginners and those looking to deepen their understanding of cybersecurity. Content Quality (5/5): The course content is exceptionally well-structured and comprehensive. It covers a wide range of topics essential to understanding modern cybersecurity threats and defenses. From cryptography and network security to malware analysis and incident response, each module is delivered with clarity and depth. The lectures are engaging, with real-world examples and case studies that illustrate the concepts effectively. Instructor Expertise (5/5): The instructors are experts in the field of cybersecurity, bringing years of practical experience and academic knowledge to the table. Their ability to explain complex topics in a clear and understandable manner is commendable. They also provide insights into current trends and best practices, which adds significant value to the learning experience. Hands-On Learning (4/5): One of the highlights of the course is its emphasis on hands-on learning. Practical exercises and labs allow students to apply theoretical knowledge in simulated environments. While these exercises are enriching, a bit more variety in the types of hands-on activities could further enhance the learning experience. Support and Resources (5/5): The course platform provides excellent support and additional resources, including forums for discussions, supplementary reading materials, and access to tools and software used in cybersecurity practice. This supportive environment fosters collaboration among students and enhances understanding through shared learning. Overall Impression (5/5): In conclusion, "IT Security: Defense against the digital dark arts" is a standout course that delivers on its promise to educate and empower students in the field of cybersecurity. Whether you're looking to start a career in IT security or simply expand your knowledge base, this course is highly recommended. The comprehensive content, expert instruction, and practical focus make it a worthwhile investment of time and effort. I personally found this course not only informative but also inspiring, as it has deepened my understanding of cybersecurity principles and equipped me with practical skills that are invaluable in today's digital landscape. I look forward to applying what I've learned in my future endeavors in Engineering and beyond.

By Kashif R

Aug 4, 2023

As an IT professional seeking to navigate the treacherous waters of cyberspace, "IT Security: Defense against the Digital Dark Arts" is an invaluable companion. This comprehensive guide takes readers on a journey through the ever-evolving realm of cybersecurity, equipping them with essential knowledge to ward off digital threats effectively.

The author's expertise shines through in their lucid explanations, making complex concepts accessible to both seasoned tech experts and newcomers. They cover a broad spectrum of topics, including network security, cryptography, malware analysis, and social engineering, without overwhelming the reader with technical jargon.

One of the standout features is the inclusion of real-world case studies and practical examples, illustrating how vulnerabilities have been exploited in the past and how they can be mitigated. These instances help readers grasp the significance of staying vigilant in the face of cyberattacks.

Furthermore, the book is not merely a theoretical treatise; it encourages hands-on learning through engaging exercises and challenges. This interactivity adds a dynamic element to the learning process, reinforcing key concepts and skills.

However, a minor drawback lies in the book's focus primarily on defensive strategies. A more balanced approach with insights into offensive techniques could have provided a deeper understanding of the adversary's mindset. Nonetheless, it remains an excellent resource for those seeking to bolster their defensive capabilities.

In conclusion, "IT Security: Defense against the Digital Dark Arts" is an essential read for anyone involved in the IT industry. Its pragmatic approach, combined with real-world examples and interactive exercises, empowers readers to protect their digital assets proactively. Whether you are an aspiring cybersecurity professional or an IT enthusiast, this book will undoubtedly enhance your understanding of the ever-pressing need for robust digital defenses.

By Syrick G

Oct 17, 2023

This last course was really amazing!! I’ve learned the basics of security in an IT environment, how to define and recognize security risks, vulnerabilities and threats. I’ve also identified the most common security attacks in an organization and understand how security revolves around the "CIA" principle. I also know the types of malicious software, network attacks, client-side attacks, and the essential security terms I will see in the workplace. This course really helps me to prepare for any IT Support role. I enjoyed the topic about engaging with the IT community. The course also provided great assistance on how to find, apply for and prepare for job interviews. For me, it was an extra mile for Google to do this. I will definitely recommend to my friends, my colleagues and to anyone to take this Google IT Support Professional Certificate course. I don’t have any regrets taking this course. In fact, this course gave me confidence to seek a new learning opportunity. I’m really grateful to Google for creating this course through Coursera that will help me in the near future. Thank you to all the instructors. This course really motivated me to be an IT Support Specialist.

By Ahmed S M

Nov 15, 2020

This is Ahmad Serag, an Egyptian student studying high school in Saudi Arabia.

My course for Google IT Support Professional Certificate from Coursera I've finished today after I stayed up nights and wrote and documented a lot of things and meanings to this wonderful course about the IT field from Googlers, It's been an incredible journey. These are all not easy concepts for a 17 years old guy with unlimited passions, but I made it through the whole thing.

So, I’m asking google today if you can encourage me via giving me a T-Shirt from google as a congratulations gift on finishing the Google IT Support Professional Certificate that will support me to apply for an internship at google in future and go forward for my goals. Hope Google team celebrate me :))

Warm regards,

Ahmed Serag

By Ardee D

Jan 18, 2022

First, I would like to thank the organizers for this opportunity, for creating this program and making it possible to those who want to try some new possibilities within the IT world. I'm coming from a non-IT background and it was really good to have a good grasp of the fundamentals or should I say the basics to be an IT Support Specialist. There were things that I did in my computer without any knowledge prior to this course but now, I'm equipped with terminologies that sounded gibberish to me before but not anymore. After this course, I can confidently say that I learned a lot and I know I'll be able to use this new found knowledge. I must also point out that it also gives you a boost in self confidence knowing that anything is possible if you are determined. So, thank you.