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Cyber Security Foundations: Why Cyber Security is Important

Learn how to defend yourself from common cyber attacks, such as phishing, ransomware, and social engineering attacks.

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  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 1 of 4
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Gain an introduction to cyber security

This 3-week course for beginners will highlight the importance of cyber security in the current landscape. It will be particularly useful for IT professionals.

Cyber attacks cost a huge amount of money annually, and this figure is on the rise. According to sources, the cost of cybercrime for 2021 will rise to $6 trillion, double the estimated figure for 2015. By 2025, this is predicted to rise to $10.5 trillion.

On this course, you’ll learn about common types of cyber attacks, including phishing, viruses, and social engineering attacks, and how you can protect against them. You’ll also learn how to build a safe password policy, build in ransomware protection, and best practices for mobile data security.

Explore common cyber attacks and how to protect against them

To understand why cyber security is important, we must understand the risks we face.

This cyber security training course will introduce you to some common and dangerous cyber attacks, and key topics such as:

  • how to build a good password policy and how using a password manager increases data security
  • risks associated with using unknown USB drives, including USB “rubber ducky” password stealers
  • how to defend against viruses, including ransomware protection, and what to do when infected
  • cyber security risks associated with social media, including social engineering attacks
  • how to identify spear phishing and phishing emails
  • best practices for mobile data security, including VPNs and DNS redirects
  • disaster recovery and how to prepare for worst-case scenarios

Completing this introduction to cyber security will enable you to take the first key steps to protecting your data. With these cyber security basics, you can prevent sensitive information getting into the wrong hands.


  • Week 1

    What Are the First Steps in Protecting My Data?

    • Learning Together on FutureLearn

      We'll introduce you to the features of the FutureLearn platform and how social learning works.

    • Welcome to the Course

      In this activity, you will be introduced to your educator and learn what to expect in the coming week.

    • Physical Security: Part 1

      In this activity, you will learn why good physical security is essential for cybersecurity and explore some methods to increase security in different spaces.

    • Physical Security: Part 2

      In this activity, you will explore some methods to increase the physical security of your hardware.

    • Best Practices: Passwords

      In this activity, learn about cybersecurity best practices to ensure that you are consistently protected.

    • Best Practices: Updates

      In this activity, learn about cybersecurity best practices to ensure that you are consistently protected.

  • Week 2

    How to Address Suspicious Internet Activity

    • Welcome to Week 2

      In the following step, you will find out what is in store for the week to come.

    • How Vulnerable are Our Social Media Accounts?

      In this activity, explore what data you may be unknowingly sharing with potential hackers.

    • Internet Security: Part 1

      In this activity, you will learn how to assess the safety of websites and downloaded files.

    • Internet Security: Part 2

      In this activity, you will learn how to safely browse the internet with browser plugins.

    • Data Backup and Disaster Recovery

      In this activity, you will understand the importance of backups and how to implement a backup method system that works for you.

  • Week 3

    How to Secure Myself, My Data and My Company

    • The Final Week Ahead

      In this activity, find out what is in store for your final week in the course.

    • Securing Email Communication

      In this activity, you will learn how to secure your email communication.

    • Securing Mobile Devices

      In this activity, find out how to secure your mobile devices.

    • Securing the Cloud

      In this activity, find out how to secure the cloud.

    • Securing Network Connections

      In this activity, learn how to secure your network connections.

    • Summary

      In this activity, reflect and test yourself on what you have learned during this course.

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore how malicious hackers can turn your social media against you
  • Identify phishing emails and bad links
  • Discuss how to prevent and recover from virus and ransomware attacks
  • Explore how to harden your OS by patching and best practices
  • Evaluate how to protect your data

Who is the course for?

This cyber security training is aimed at beginners to cyber security and IT professionals who want to understand how to protect their organization from cyber attacks.

This might include data administrators, those working with sensitive data, or those targeting a career in cyber security.

Who developed the course?


International Council of E-Commerce Consultants, also known as EC-Council, is the world’s largest cyber security technical certification body.

About this ExpertTrack

Discover why cyber security is important, and how to build organizational cyber resilience in these four cyber security courses.

Start learning today - free 7-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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