If there is one good thing that can be said about the Internet it’s the fact that never before have so many opportunities been made available for self-improvement, often times for no charge whatsoever. One Google search will call up a practically infinite variety of online courses, everything from figure drawing to advanced calculus or free online security courses.
But let’s say your educational goals include something a little more esoteric such as Internet security and your budget is, well, zero. You could go to your local college or university, declare yourself indigent, and get into courses that way. Unfortunately, if you don’t have the wardrobe to match that status, you might be better checking for opportunities on the web. Besides, where could be a better place for just that sort of education? If you’re game for that approach, below the work has been done for you. What follows are the 10 best free online courses in Internet security. Admittedly, some of these courses are well, let’s just say “on the dark side,” but in terms of quality, they’re all tops.
HACKViDHi (http://hackvidhi.com/courses.php) HACKViDHi is a website that offers a course in web programming basics and what they call “ethical hacking,” but in terms of what you learn, it’s top notch. This website offers an 11-week, 2 classes a week course covering different web technologies along with potential ways in which these technologies can be exploited. Of course, “exploited” is the operative word here, so think of it as a programming course on everything your programming professor didn’t teach you because he didn’t have the nerve. The plus side is that you will learn a lot of cool things and how to apply them towards things you can use. The site warns that the “seating” is limited, so hurry to enroll, although with an online course, what the “seating” is is anyone’s guess.
Coursera (https://www.coursera.org/courses?cats=cs-systems) Despite being such a young technology, Coursera is the gold standard when it comes to online education. Think of the subject, and chances are very good that you will find exactly what you want to learn on Coursera’s class listing. What is most interesting, however, is the list of sponsors of the coursework available. Granted, there are those average Joes who are willing to share what they know with the world, but there are also some very reputable institutions offering up some excellent course fare. This is not to say that there aren’t gold in both hills, but the quality of the education available from both is amazing. Want to learn Internet security via a distance education, check here at some point.
EBest Internet Security (http://www.ebestinternetsecurity.com) Even in the world of online courses, looks can be deceiving. Take for example, EBest, where what first appears to be a totally strange approach to online learning is actually quite good. One look at the EBest website and you have to wonder at first what they are selling, if they are selling anything at all. Look a little harder, and you will find some excellent content as well as some very user-friendly approaches to learning it. “EBest” of all, it’s all free.
SearchSecurity (searchsecurity.techtarget.com) SearchSecurity is another group that offers free online courses in Internet security and other areas that at first glance you have to wonder about their sales skills. Upon closer examination, however, and you will not only find some excellent courses, but the instructors are also on a level that you can’t doubt their authority. Another impressive feature of the SearchSecurity coursework is their emphasis on the latest technology, including that for cloud computing, which nobody, at least not lately, has been able to get enough of. Fortunately, at this web site, there’s plenty for everyone.
OpenCulture (http://www.openculture.com/free_certificate_courses) OpenCulture is another take on the same concept at Coursera, which takes offerings by leading institutions in the world and put them on the web for free. Interestingly, there are even diplomas that you can earn, all free of charge, of course.
CyberAces (http://www.cyberaces.org) One look at the CyberAces website and although you know that they’re on the up and up, you have to wonder how they are making a living, with all the wonderful Internet security courses they are offering free of charge. Not only do CyberAces encourage anyone with an interest in Internet Security to take their free online courses, but they promote the idea of taking their programs to schools and anywhere else there might be a need.
LifeHacker U (http://lifehacker.com/plan-your-free-online-education-at-lifehacker-u-summer-506542454) By now, LifeHacker is more than just a website, it’s an American institution. Whether you want to learn how to make everything you have ever needed or wanted from chewing gum wrappers or wanted to learn Internet security, the chances are good that you will find a distance education program for free. And if you are wondering about the quality of the coursework offered here, check out the sponsors of the individual courses. You will find a number of names you will recognize such as Harvard, MIT, Johns Hopkins, and many more.
VMware Training (http://mylearn.vmware.com/portals/www/mL.cfm?menu=topfreecourses) Internet security is one of many free online courses that are offered by WMware Training, which offers a suite of courses having to do with computers and a business environment.
Saylor.org (http://www.saylor.org/courses/cs406/) Saylor is another group that offers free online courses in Internet security and a lot of other subjects related to computing. The Saylor site is well laid out, providing everything you need to get started, from the very basics of Internet security, all the way up to assessing threats and defending your systems against them.
Free Video Lectures (http://freevideolectures.com/free-college-courses-online/#) Got a minute? Think of Free Video Lectures as educational YouTube on steroids. It’s really that simple. All together in one place the site promotes “1000+” college level lectures in one place. Better yet, all of the courses are taught by instructors who are tops in their fields. The coursework goes far beyond just computer subjects, which includes Internet security, but it’s there too. If you are looking to get through Internet security with a fine toothed comb you will probably come up short with this site, but for overviews there’s a lot here, all for free.
So, there are ten free websites that promise Internet security courses. Of course, some are better than others. Some go into much greater detail than others, but it’s all there for the asking. The good, the better, and the best, all for free.
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