Introduction to PC Security

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Introduction to PC Security

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Description

About This Course

What you don't know about PC security really can hurt you! Learn why you're at risk and what you can do to protect your precious personal and business data from the outside world. This course, taught by a security expert, will quickly bring you up to speed on the fundamentals of PC and network security.

You'll understand and explore the many vulnerabilities of operating systems, software, and networks. Then, you'll get into the minds of hackers and crackers, developing an understanding of the exploits they use to access your computer without your knowledge. You'll find out why, where, and how viruses, worms, and blended threats are created. You'll be able to identify and w…

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Frequently asked questions

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About This Course

What you don't know about PC security really can hurt you! Learn why you're at risk and what you can do to protect your precious personal and business data from the outside world. This course, taught by a security expert, will quickly bring you up to speed on the fundamentals of PC and network security.

You'll understand and explore the many vulnerabilities of operating systems, software, and networks. Then, you'll get into the minds of hackers and crackers, developing an understanding of the exploits they use to access your computer without your knowledge. You'll find out why, where, and how viruses, worms, and blended threats are created. You'll be able to identify and work to prevent DoS, SYN flooding, and other network attacks. You'll learn a safe way to share files and data across the Internet through a virtual private network. And you'll be able to install and configure a firewall to build an impenetrable moat around your computer or network.

About The Instructor

This course includes a knowledgeable and caring instructor who will guide you through your lessons, facilitate discussions, and answer your questions. The instructor for this course will be Debbie Mahler.

Debbie Mahler teaches students at the college and university level on a wide range of business-related topics, worked for nearly 15 years in the PC repair business, has a successful online IT business, has written six books, and writes for several newsletters and other publications. Long before PC security was a front-page topic, Debbie Mahler was reporting on, and educating the public about, viruses and other security threats. It was this early groundwork that earned her the title of Symantec Software Partner and Security Specialist. Debbie holds a B.A. in Applied Behavioral Psychology with graduate work in Organizational Psychology and Computer Information Systems. She was a presidential scholar and graduated with high academic honors including Phi Theta Kappa.

Syllabus

A new section of each course starts monthly. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.

Week 1

Wednesday - Lesson 01

In our first lesson, you'll learn the facts--and the myths--about PC security. Then, I'll introduce you to the language of security and explain what you need to know about each acronym. By the end of this lesson, you'll also be able to assess your own risk, whether you're an individual or manage a network of any size. You'll also perform a self-assessment to evaluate just how vulnerable you are to security flaws.

Friday - Lesson 02

If you ever wondered what technical gurus are speaking about when they talk about LANs, WANs, VPNs, and P2P, you'll find detailed answers in this lesson. Discover the basics of networks and how your PC connects to them.

Week 2

Wednesday - Lesson 03

Most of us don't stop to think about how a Mac can talk to a PC and vice versa. Yet, different types of machines talk to each other on a daily basis across networks. They also talk to printers, fax machines, and a host of other devices. The OSI model for network connections lets you accomplish this, and you'll learn all about it in this lesson. I'll also teach you how, why, and where the weak links of security are in software and operating systems.

Friday - Lesson 04

Get ready to investigate the world of viruses, worms, and blended threats. You'll learn what they are and the differences between all three. I'll also show you why people create them and where they come from. Of course, all this knowledge will also teach you how to protect yourself and your network from the hackers and crackers of the world.

Week 3

Wednesday - Lesson 05

We’ll introduce you to the ware family in this lesson. Who is the ware family? They are the products that download themselves onto your computer without your consent or knowledge—spyware, scumware, malware, and adware. You'll meet them and learn all about their family traits and values. I'll also show you where they live, places they frequent, and how to remove these unwelcome guests that inhabit your PC.

Friday - Lesson 06

You may have heard of them: vulnerabilities, exploits, and exposure. But what are they? Have you ever wondered if someone really can control your computer without your knowledge? If you've been pondering these questions lately, then you'll find your answers here, along with priceless information on protecting your computer and your network to keep your business and personal data private.

Week 4

Wednesday - Lesson 07

Have you ever tried to access the Web but received an error saying the page can't be displayed, you aren't connected, or you don't have access? If so, you may have been under an attack! Denial of Service attacks and SYN flooding are two types of network attacks that seem to go unnoticed on personal PCs and small networks. Why? Because beginners don't know what they are, why they're happening, or where they're coming from. After this lesson, you'll no longer be left wondering what happened to your Internet connection.

Friday - Lesson 08

This lesson will introduce you to firewalls. Join me in this lesson, and you'll soon start building an impenetrable moat around your network.

Week 5

Wednesday - Lesson 09

Now that you have your moat built, it's time to arm up and defend yourself. In this lesson, you'll learn how to configure your firewall and maximize your network security.

Friday - Lesson 10

You may want to check out this lesson before you grab your laptop and run off to the next Internet café, because what you learn today may surprise you! Laptops and wireless connectivity are the buzzwords of the moment, but these two technologies aren't as secure as they appear. You'll understand why in this lesson.

Week 6

Wednesday - Lesson 11

I'm going to share my love for VPNs with you today. You'll learn what a Virtual Private Network is, how it's different from standard networks, how it works, how to secure it, and how to set up your own. Just think about the possibilities! You can share files with family across the miles by allowing them to connect remotely to your designated shared folders. You can share music files, family pictures, and anything else you choose to give them access to.

Friday - Lesson 12

Now that you know what's out there, how can you possibly keep on top of security issues? There's so much information out there, how will you know what applies to you? Have no fear, for I'll show you a simple method for staying up-to-date with those security issues that only pertain to you. You'll also learn about emerging security technology, sources to use that will help make the job of managing and securing your network easier, and creating a checklist to keep handy. Finally, you can test yourself against the first security assessment to see how well you've secured your own PC or network.


Requirements

A familiarity with general computing terminology, an understanding of any operating system you are using (as in: Mac, Windows, Linux) and an ability to locate programs and change settings, Internet access, e-mail, the Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Web browser, and the Adobe Flash and PDF plug-ins (two free and simple downloads you obtain at Adobe Downloads by clicking Get Adobe Flash Player and Get Adobe Reader).

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