Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsWelcome to our course. I'm Steve Riddle. And I'll be guiding you through the next three weeks. This course has been developed by a team of colleagues here in our leading security research group in the School of Computing Science at Newcastle University. Over the next three weeks, we'll be looking at some of the latest research in cybersecurity and looking at some practical advice in online privacy, payment safety, and security at home. We'll see that cybersecurity really comes down

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 secondsto a trade-off between three things: privacy, usability, and security. When making online payments, of course, we want our money to be secure. But we also want to be able to get at it easily. So there's a trade-off. To control access to our home, we might use some biometric authentication system, where there's a risk in giving so much information about ourselves for security that we end up compromising our privacy. And as we'll see this week, controlling the amount of data that's held about us online can be done. But controlling privacy can be at the expense of usability. This week, Dr.

Skip to 1 minute and 14 secondsKovila Coopamootoo looks at what we mean by privacy, the right to be left alone and why businesses are so interested in storing our personal data. So how can you find out what information you do share online? How can you control it? And what are the effects on usability from doing so?

Welcome to the course

Over the next three weeks we are going to explore how the internet is changing how you think about security.

We will do this by focussing on a topic per week, each one designed by experts in cyber security research here at Newcastle University:

  • Week 1: We explore personal privacy online.
  • Week 2: We look at online payment safety.
  • Week 3: We examine security in the home of the (not too distant) future.

A three legged stool - privacy, usability and security

As we’ll see, each of these topics involves a trade-off between three goals: privacy, usability and security. Is it possible to satisfy all three, or do we always have to compromise on at least one of these goals? At the end of the course, you’ll understand the background to this trade-off more clearly and be in a better position to make informed choices.

Meet the team

Headshots of the educator team

Left to right: (Top row) Steve, Dylan, Phyllis, David, Peter (Bottom row) Martin, Charles, Sia, Aad, Kovila, Maryam

Make sure you follow our Lead Educator and Mentor team. You can do this by clicking on each of their names as they appear in pink below, which will take you to their individual profile page, scroll down and click ‘Follow’.

As you move through the course this will make it easier to see what they have been saying in response to questions and comments that come up during the next three weeks. You can also follow other learners on the course, and when you get a reply, someone likes something you have said, or someone new follows you, you can get notifications.

Lead Educator

Dr Steve Riddle is a Lecturer in Computing Science and Programme Director for Newcastle University’s MSc in Computer Security and Resilience. Steve will lead you through the next three weeks, and introduce you to the Mentor and Educator teams who will guide your journey.



Our Educators have written the course content. They are all researchers in the School of Computing Science at Newcastle University drawn from the Centre for Cybercrime and Computer Security (CCCS) and the Secure and Resilient Systems Group. Their research interests make them the perfect team to help you learn more about these important topics.

Prove what you learn with a certificate

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement to prove what you learn on this course.

This personalised certificate and transcript details the syllabus and learning outcomes, plus your average test score, making it ideal evidence of your continuing professional development (CPD). The Certificate comes in both printed and digital formats, so you can easily add it to your portfolio, CV or LinkedIn profile.

Alternatively, you can buy a Statement of Participation as a memento of taking part.

The money from the sale of Certificates and Statements supports the development of FutureLearn and free online courses.

Let’s get started

To get started, click ‘Mark as complete’ (this will help you keep track of your progress) and then move to the next step.

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This video is from the free online course:

Cyber Security: Safety at Home, Online, in Life

Newcastle University

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: