Security and privacy online courses

You wouldn't leave your house or car unlocked, so why not take just as much care with your data and identity?

Are you or the kids on Facebook? Do you use DropBox to synch your work? Have you received an email from your bank that looked so plausible you almost clicked a dodgy link or sent "them" some of your details? Is it difficult to remember all those passwords? Do you work with other people's personal information? Do you check your email on the train? Or shop online when relaxing in the coffee shop? Answer "yes" to any of these and you may be interested to know we can help you start to find the tools and techniques to protect yourself, your work and your family online.

Be safe and secure online - come and learn from our information security specialists at our series of Security and Privacy Online courses, the venues include Banbury Road, Hythe Bridge Street, Wellington Square and the Old Road Campus:

Online Information Security awareness module

You are the target!

This is a brief overview of information security showing you some tips to protect yourself, your family and the University. Why is your personal information valuable? What are common ways that it might get into the wrong hands and the practical things you can do to reduce the risk of data theft. In this course we'll discuss security considerations in email, web and social networking; consider how to secure your computer and will look briefly at some common scams including phishing.

Key topics

  • Safe web browsing
  • Safety in the cloud (DropBox etc.)
  • Securing your computer
  • Privacy online, especially on social media (Facebook etc.)
  • Social engineering, phishing and avoiding scams
  • Passwords

This course is suitable for general users, and is also aimed at University staff. Express an interest in future dates for this course now!

Basics of data protection

Do you handle other people's personal data? This course provides a brief overview of the requirements of the Data Protection Act, particularly where it overlaps with information security, and will focus on the key risks for the University and individual members of staff.

Key topics

  • What are the essential requirements of the Data Protection Act
  • Is personal data confidential?
  • How can I protect myself against the risk of losing personal data?
  • For how long should personal data be kept?
  • Is it OK to share personal data with other departments in the University?

This course is suitable for general users. Express an interest in future dates for this course now!

Your password sucks!

We all know that our passwords must be complex and not easy-to-guess, and we must use a variety of different passwords for all of the services we use. Although it's so important not to re-use passwords, this session provides practical advice on doing so! In particular the notes will provide links to services which may help you store your passwords.

Key topics

  • Real-world stories
  • Creating secure passwords
  • Remembering all your passwords
  • Storing your passwords

This course is suitable for general users. Express an interest in future dates for this course now!

Secure your data and protect your research in the Cloud

Using DropBox to synch your work? Storing data online? Sharing documents via Google Drive or other services outside of the University like Google Drive (was Google Docs), SkyDrive, Office365? If so, you're using 'the Cloud'. But how secure is your data whilst it's there, and how secure is secure enough? This course looks at protecting data for use in online environments and covers ways of sharing documents, password protection and an introduction to encryption. 

Key topics

  • Threats to online documents
  • Risks of data loss
  • Sharing documents securely
  • Password protection
  • Backup, long-term data preservation and curation

This course is suitable for Research staff and postgraduate researchers, and runs as part of the 'Things to do with data' series of talks. Express an interest in future dates for this course now!

How secure is your mobile?

Mobile devices and bring your own device (BYOD) are hot topics in security right now. We now use our mobiles (iPads, phones, tablets, Blackberry, etc.) for anything from checking emails to online banking and shopping so the risks are potentially large. On a mobile device the lines between personal and work use are increasingly blurred. So how secure is your mobile device? This course attempts to explain the actual risks and leave you with some handy tips as to how to ensure your device is configured securely. This is part of a series of one-hour sessions about staying safe and secure online.

Key topics

  • Antivirus software
  • Installing and updating software
  • Security configuration
  • Avoid Phone Hacking

This course is suitable for general users. Express an interest in future dates for this course now!

Social media

On Facebook and Twitter "social engineering" fraudulent attacks and scams are rife and the bad guys know the easiest way to take control of your computer or steal your password is simply to ask for it! This course will look at your privacy; and warn about: over-sharing online, feeding the trolls on Twitter and your blog, and playing the quizzes and apps (like do you really need to find out which Disney princess you are?). We'll also look at how do you build a social media engagement strategy that your team are comfortable with. The notes will provide practical hands-on instructions for you to tweak your privacy and authentication settings in Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter.

The course runs as part of the Engage Michaelmas programme.

Hand-out available for download Social Media Hand-out 2013-11 (394kb)

Key topics

  • Social engineering fraudulent attacks
  • Privacy and over-sharing on Facebook
  • Responding to trolls on Twitter and your blog
  • How to build a social media engagement strategy
  • Your privacy and authentication settings

This course is suitable for general users. Express an interest in future dates for this course now!

Safe surfing

Feature-rich websites mean that web browsers and the sites you browse, have increasing access to your computer. This course covers how you can configure your web browser and change your behaviour online to protect your privacy and secure your computer.

Key topics

  • Web-based threats and risks
  • "Secure" websites and SSL
  • Basic browser security settings
  • Cookies and privacy online
  • Password security
  • Browser plugins

This course is suitable for general users. Date: Express an interest in future dates for this course now!

Secure your PC or Mac

Malware that targets user machines can propagate in a number of ways including via the network, email, web surfing and infected portable devices such as USB sticks. There is no such thing as 100% security but this course covers some of the basic ways in which you can protect your PC (or Mac!) and behave more safely online. It includes an introduction to encryption.

Key topics

  • Antivirus software
  • Installing and updating software
  • Personal firewalls
  • USB devices
  • Encryption

This course is suitable for general users. Express an interest in future dates for this course now!

Spotting phishing scams

Phishing is a type of fraud: criminals try to get you to reveal confidential information such as your passwords, bank or credit card details. Always remember, IT Services and your local IT support staff will never ask for your password, especially not by an email or a phonecall. This course will make you consider trust in online environments and covers ways to spot phishing emails and websites. 

Key topics

  • Trust online
  • Basic SSL certificates
  • Spotting fake websites
  • Spotting scam emails
  • Reporting phishing

This course is suitable for general users. Express an interest in future dates for this course now!

You are the target! (extended session)

This is a longer overview than is possible in our lunchtime course of information security showing you some tips to protect yourself, your family and the University. Why is your personal information valuable? What are common ways that it might get into the wrong hands and the practical things you can do to reduce the risk of data theft. In this course we'll discuss security considerations in email, web and social networking, consider how to secure your computer and will look briefly at some common scams including phishing. There will be an opportunity to ask in-depth questions and to participate in the online Information Security Awareness module.

This course is suitable for general users. Express an interest in future dates for this course now!