Computer Science > Cyber Security 101

Cyber Security 101

Prerequisite(s): There are no pre-requisites for this course

Instructor(s): Pratap, Dr. Mahendra
Pratap, Dr. Mahendra

Title: CEO

Company: Progia


Mahendra has a distinguished background as a scientist and as an entrepreneur. Mahendra was employed with AT&T and Lucent Technologies for 20 years where he specialized in video communications, personal computer design, ATM and IP networking.

Mahendra has a PhD in Nuclear Physics and has authored over 2 dozen scientific papers.

, Self Paced Open Education Resource
Self Paced Open Education Resource

Title: The Best Teachers in the World

Progia Staff in consultation with the experts in their respective fields have scoured the open education resources to design and organize this course.

Progia salutes the content authors and their respective education institutes. Progia also acknowledges their expertise and generous contributions for making learning more accessible.

Course Description:

This first course in the series on "Cyber Security" is aimed at individuals who want to know more about risks and threats looming on the Internet and how to confidently navigate their personal and business activities on-line.

First and foremost, it will show the learners the big picture: What types of cyber-threats have been unleashed on the information systems and what impact they have on our economy and our lives? Who are the cyber criminals behind these attacks and what crimes do they commit? What we can do to minimize risks from spam, spyware and "social engineering"? What steps we can take to protect our privacy on the Internet?

In this course, learners will gain a solid foundation for pursuing more specialized courses towards building a promising career in cyber security including Risk Management Officer, Network Security Adminstrator, Cyber Security Analyst or Senior programmer with expertise in developing secure software.

Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses can use this as a stepping stone for

  • Understanding and assessing threats and risks to their operations
  • Creating guidelines and best practices for their business and employees
  • Protecting their intellectual property and competitive advantage from cyber criminals and hackers.
  • Maintaining and enhancing their on-line reputation
Course Sessions:
  • Unit 1: Introduction to Cyber Security
  • Content Author(s): Mahendra Pratap, Raissa Stovall

    Session Description:


    • What is Cyber Security? Why it is important?
    • Resources for further study


    • How is the Course Organized?


    Hghlights the types of cybercrime that are running rampant in the world today, its impact as well as several victims of these attacks

  • 1.1: Cyber Crimes, Cyber Criminals, History & Current Status
  • Content Author(s): BBC, Mahendra Pratap

    Session Description:


    • Cyber Crimes and Cyber criminals
    • Current Status


    • Who are Cyber Criminals
    • How do they Attack Web Sites


    • Brief History, major incidents
    • Evolution
    • Impact of Cyber Crimes

  • Unit 2. Cyber Threats and Attacks & Glossary of Terms
  • Content Author(s): Mahendra Pratap, Mark Hay

    Session Description:


    • Overview of Risks and Threats
    • Breach of Computers, Operating Systems, Software and Networks: Malware, Hacking, Denial Of Service


    Spyware, phishing, keylogging, Online fraud, identity theft , DOS (Denial of Service) Attacks


    Glossary of Terms Use it for reference. Most of these terms are explained further in this class.

  • 2.1: Fraud and Scams on the Internet
  • Content Author(s): Mahendra Pratap,,

    Session Description:


    • Signs of a scam or fraud
    • Phishing emails, Identity theft,
    • Social engineering


    How can you tell a dangerous email from a legitimate one? & Identity Theft Expert Bob Sullivan


    Comprehensive information on common cyber scams from

    • Work-at-Home Scams, Weight Loss Claims, Lotteries and Sweepstakes Scams
    • Fake Check Scams, Imposter Scams
    • Mystery Shopper Scams, Bogus Apartment Rentals
    • Miracle Cures, Debt Relief Scams
    • Pay-in-Advance Credit Offers, Investment Schemes
    • The "Nigerian" Email Scam, Online Dating Scams
    • Money Transfer Scams, Tech Support Scams

  • Unit 3: Fundamentals - Understanding Cyber Insecurity
  • Content Author(s): Naked Science, Mahendra Pratap, Jakob Kallin and Irene Lobo Valbuena, Computing Security , JMU

    Session Description:


    • Basic structure of World Wide Web and why is it vulnerable
    • How computers communicate
    • How fire walls work to prevent attacks

    Video: How does "the web" actually work, and what lies behind it? In this Naked Science Scrapbook episode supported by 4D Data Centres, all is revealed.

    Handout 1: How do they break into my computer?
    Handout 2: How Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks work?

  • Unit 4: How to Minimize Risks: Recommended Actions
  • Content Author(s): Sheridan College Institute of Technology , Carles CaƱo Valls

    Session Description:

    An average unprotected computer connected to the Internet can be quickly compromised and pass along that infection to other devices, or function as a “backdoor” to our network.

    This unit discusses what we can do prevent this from happening.

    It starts with some basic principles including:

    • Keeping the operating system and application software up-to-date, properly configured and free of malware
    • Using appropriate security software and strong authentication to prevent unauthorized access
    • Regularly backing up system and data files etc.

    In the video, four basic principles of data security are explained with simple examples. These are: Integrity, Confidentiality, Availability and Non-repudiation.

  • 4.1 Basic Security Tools
  • Content Author(s): Dr. Mahendra Pratap,

    Session Description:

    Lecture: Security & Administration tools of a personal computer.

    • Firewall
    • Anti-virus & Anti-spyware
    • Authentication: passwords, encryption
    • Securing Wireless Network Access
    • Back up and Restore

    Some of this material is adapted from:the course by Dr. Paul Mullins, Slippery Rock University

    The US govt. website, provides step by instructions on configuring and securing a home wireless network. It also gives tips for using a public wi-fi. In particular, you can find Tutorials for Turning Your Router’s Encryption On:

            Apple Airport

  • 4.2 Staying Safe while Surfing
  • Content Author(s): Mahendra Pratap, Claudio Corrias

    Session Description:


    • Email safety: how to avoid spam and getting phished
    • How to choose strong passwords
    • Tips for safe browsing and shopping


    DOs and DONTs while on Mobile devices

  • Unit 5 Security Lab
  • Content Author(s): Mahendra Pratap

    Session Description:

    In this Unit, we suggest some practical, hands on exercises using basic Internet security tools, freely available on Internet.

    • Installing and configuring an antivirus and anti-spyware software
    • Keeping Software Patched and Configured Correctly
    • Dealing with Vulnerabilities in Email Applications
    • Checking what services are running and which ports are open
    • Choosing strong passwords
    • Monitoring log files
    • Setting up and Configuring a Fire-wall
    • Securing your Wireless Router





  • Unit 6: Overview: what we have studied in the Course
  • Content Author(s): Jeetendra Pande, Uttarakhand Open University

    Session Description:
    •  Introduction to cyber crime
    •  Terminology
    •  Some Cyber crime cases
    •  What comes under cyber crime?
    •  Why it is important?
    •  Various techniques.for prevention
    •  Guidelines for general cyber security
    •  Guidelines for Facebook and Twitter


  • Self Assessment
  • Content Author(s): Mahendra Pratap

    Session Description:

    The short self-assessment exercise in this Session is designed to help you evaluate your cyber security knowledge and provide you with helpful tips for making safe choices on the Internet.

    For each of the following questions, read the choices presented carefully then write down your choice on a piece of paper.

    Add up the correct answers that you gave. If you scored 9 or higher, congratulations! You did a great job!

    If your score is 7 or below, please revise your lessons again. Certainly you can do much better!

  • Extra Credit: Real Life Cyber Crimes: Expose
  • Content Author(s): James Lyne

    Session Description:

    TED Talk by James Lyne: ever-more-sophisticated cybercriminals, who exploit both weak code and trusting human nature. An excellent practical expose of:

            Infection by usb
            Evolving Cyber criminals
            Wireless insecurity

  • Extra Credit: More Real Life Cyber Crimes including snooping
  • Content Author(s): Gerry Sneeringer

    Session Description:

    More Real Life Cyber Crimes - Presented by Gerry Sneeringer, Information Technology Security Officer, University of Maryland

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