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

16,308 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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26 - 50 of 2,754 Reviews for IT Security: Defense against the digital dark arts

By Isaac S

Jan 7, 2019

Many technical issues regarding labs and no explanations or feedback for important and critical issues.

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.


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 :)

By Penny J B

Jan 8, 2021

This was by far the hardest module to finish, but I did it and I especially would like to thank Coursera's support people for that. They rooted me on, and kept telling me not to give up. Thanks!

By Theo R

Apr 20, 2020

The content is good, the instructor is great - although mainly reading the text most of the time instead of explaining the stuff more fluidly.. I only gave 4 stars because the way the course is presented, there's a lot of theory, which is good, but the application of all this theory through practical examples is what's missing. I think is a great initiative by Google, and the course provides a lot of understanding of what is going on with all the security protocols and cryptography, but it really misses on the practical aspect, lacking exercises with real world applications of the content presented, which are as important as the theory itself. Thank you Google for the initiative and hope I could give you and all the people who's wanting to take this course a little to think about.

By Iona G

Jul 14, 2018

The course contents are really good but I didn't feel that the final assignment fit the contents .

By Nancy A

Mar 23, 2018

This course was different than I expected. Perhaps I see it as a bridge course from this excellent on-line well-balanced interactive video and hands-on learning tool to what it is like to sit through often text-based lectures about material you just need to learn by rote. So, for me, its 2 main strengths are: 1) prioritizing vocabulary needed to communicate security issues as the fundamentals of cryptography and protocols are also taught and 2) the final exercise question was an opportunity to summarize fundamental suggestions on how to improve security for the many situations where next-gen tools are not affordable or (possibly) relevant.

My recommendation for the ending might be to recast the content you wanted to be sure everyone knew cold into the familiar multiple choice tests you have relied on throughout this 6-course course. Then, add in the rapidly changing VM security solutions that I discovered while researching what I took to be a perfectly valid real-life assignment: how would I help a growing 50-person plus business (or myself) make best use today of dollars invested in cybersecurity? It was a fun and eye-opening look at both the cutting-edge tech coming down the pike and also how this will increase the need for generalists and provide tools to partner differently with old-school IT sys admins. It seems like a big shift and I'm still processing what this implies about training for cyber workforce readiness. I do feel this might have been an opportunity to wrap up the course on a different note.

Regardless, I appreciated the authenticity and different teaching styles of each of the teachers in this course sequence. Each in their own unique way lived up to being an aspirational role model for the many young people for whom this course will be a game changer.

By Damion B

Aug 9, 2019

Dear Google & Coursera

This was the most profound course for me, I was able to learn more in-depth about IT security. In fact this course made me want to pursue a masters in Cyber Security. Thanks you Google and Coursera, for making this possible for people like myself who has a passion for IT but live outside of the united States of America.

Thank you

Damion Dwight Brown

By Јована

Mar 23, 2020

Content is good, but unfortunately I am not able to finish my tasks in LABS, since many links are broken, thus I cannot finish and get the certificate finally. It really prolongs my job search.

By Delvon S

Jan 29, 2019

Course 1 and 5 are probably my favorite of the courses because i feel i learned a lot in these two the most, all are great i just really wanted to learn more about security which was course 5

By James H

Jan 17, 2019

Excellent and informative

By bod o

Jan 15, 2019


By Fuat K

Aug 20, 2020

the concepts and terminology covered in this course could be explained in a simpler better way. I found some websites and youtube videos which explains these concepts in a simpler but more effective ways. Like all other courses in this certificate program, some materials needs to be updated. looks like they have been neglected for 3 years and it is a really long time in IT industry.

I was really disappointed by Google since I was expecting a much better job from them. It is clear that they didn't assign enough time and resources for this certificate program .

Lastly, I would like to thank all my teachers . You guys are awesome and very enthusiastic about teaching and motivating learners. You guys can do only so much with the limited time and resources you were given. Best of luck and God's blessings in your life journey.

Thank you again.

Fuat Karadeniz

By Roland G

Dec 7, 2020

Wasn't taught very well, and the assignments weren't very hands on at all so it's very difficult to learn anything at all. Wouldn't really recommend using this as a way to get a job, maybe just to see if you want to go to college for IT. The concepts were very lightly touched on and didn't really provide any real information, but even if it was, as I said above the course wasn't taught well so you wouldn't have learned much anyway.

By D.S V

Nov 9, 2020

This was brutal. It's a guy reading acronyms and definitions, and you as a student desperately trying to take notes on all of it. This was my least favorite of the 5 courses by FAR.

By Corey J H

Mar 20, 2019

Never had some many technical difficulties and this has been out for a while now.

By Luke P

Oct 16, 2021

Pretty fair course, and enjoyable overall program. This particular course has its strengths and weaknesses, but it's still taught in a manner that is understandable. Not as hard as some of the other courses and anyone can do it without needing to take the ones before it. I also liked that this teacher had a noticeable sense of humor. It added a nice touch to the sea of technical facts.

Some weaknesses: Some of the long videos give far too much information to take in at once. There's one 9 minute video where literally every single word matters. It was very stressful to sit through. Another big criticism that other reviewers and me have is that many quiz questions are ambiguous. There are numerous instances where some answers actually are correct, but they're marked as wrong if you select them because they're not what the particular question is looking for. This led to some very frustrating instances of getting questions wrong when they would otherwise be right. I saw two other reviewers complain about this before I took the course, and I didn't think it would be that big of an issue until I took the course itself and saw just how prevalent it was.

I still give this course five stars because nothing is perfect. I learned a lot and had a great time obtaining my IT certificate. I will absolutely look into furthering myself in this field and I am hoping this certificate will help with that. Overall, technical issues aside, these courses were a great learning experience and I recommend them for anyone wanting to learn IT.

By Rholyn I

Jul 23, 2019

I learned a lot from this course. Taking this course made me realize that it is not enough to take a course one time. Over time, changes in IT happens so rapidly and it is very essential to be aware and updated of the latest trends and innovations being offered in the market so you are in great shape in terms of skills, knowledge and expertise. Learning should be a continuous process and we must never stop from learning new things. It is to our advantage if we develop this habit of continuous reading, researching, attending training and the good part is, everything is now online an so convenient and we must take advantage of this offering.

By Yintao L

Jul 26, 2018

I would recommend this course to those who really interested in Cyber Security but have no previous knowledge about this area. This course including almost all relevant topics about this area. Basically, it's a introduction of those potential threats and how to defence those attacks. For new students, I would advice you to take notes when you watch the videos. The final assignment is really critical and need understand those key concepts. I have tried several times to pass this unit. Thanks to the peer reviewer, they're really serious but indeed help me to improve. 5 Star course. Thanks Google and Coursera.


Sep 28, 2018

It was really interesting and good course. Cyber security is now a must for any person or company or country, hospitals or military services in the world. Before this course i was not aware of so many encryption, decryption methods and security protocols and features. I have learned a lot about security and privacy and importance of installing them into any kind of IT infrastructure and services.

The teacher really excellent , handsome and smart while delivering the lectures.

I believe I have received essential quality lectures, teaching contents from an excellent teacher and an excellent subject.

By Alfred C

Sep 29, 2019

The tutors of this and past courses were very concise, clear, and engaging. Anyway this course was great given how they broke down some complicated concepts about security through visuals and great monologue. It even showed that most breaches can be prevented with simple practices or policies. There was some great context to show how the subject can be applied to real world scenarios. My only complaint was given how technical and complicated some of the subjects are especially week 4. Although, I can't say anything too bad about it, only so much you can simplify.

By Hélène M

Apr 30, 2020

Thank you for this course which was very interesting. It was very complete so there is a lot to understand and remember. The instructor explains very well and as my mother-tongue is not English, I understood him very well (thank you for the subtitles!). I am very happy that I've finished this IT Course and I would recommend it!

The only thing I am wondering is: what is done with my written answer? I've written texts for some quizzes and I was wondering if someone was reading them. It is just a curiosity!

By Joel L

Sep 2, 2019

Very intense course. I had a lot of learning of all the different types of security systems and getting to see how logs analysis worked for abnormal network usage, the different encryption protocols, most of the things here. It was nice to see how Security tied into sys admin with the use of LDAP or Active Directory, and that while complicated, it isn't all beyond my understanding and that there are literally youtube videos and internet articles to help explain everything. Thanks for a great course!

By Maribeth H

Mar 9, 2019

This was the most difficult and time-consuming of the 5 courses. I loved all of it except the final assignment, which I think had a poor grading structure and needed at the very least to have a better rubric for learners. The only way to complete it and earn full points was to either wing it and then redo it once you saw your peer grade or review the discussion forums to learn more about the assignment. It didn't really give a lot of room for creativity and the instructions were seriously vague.

By Daniel C

Jan 20, 2019

This course has been inspiring to me! I have learned sooooooo much in my two months of high-tech training. GOOGLE/COURSERA, you have taken my mind to new, amazing heights that I've always dreamed of...THANK YOU ALL! From the creators to the researchers and everyone in between, you have my sincerest congratulations on all time, patience, training, skilled educators and knowledge to devise this unique program to heighten ones knowledge and dreams! Again, I thank you all!