Introduction to PC Security

Introduction to PC Security

Learn why you're at risk and what you can do to protect your precious personal and business data from the outside world. In this course, a security expert will teach you the fundamentals of PC and network security as you learn to install and configure a firewall to build an impenetrable moat around your computer or network.

6 Weeks Access / 24 Course Hrs
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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 will quickly bring you up to speed on the fundamentals of PC and network security.

You will understand and explore the vulnerability of operating systems, software, and networks. Then, you will get into the minds of hackers and crackers, developing an understanding of the exploits they use to access your computer without your knowledge. You will find out why, where and how viruses, worms, and blended threats are created. You will learn a safe way to handle files and data across the Internet through a virtual private network. By the end of this course you will be able to install and configure a firewall to build an impenetrable moat around your computer or network.


In this lesson, you will learn the facts and myths about PC security. By the end of the lesson, you will be able to assess your own risk, whether you're an individual or manage a network of any size. You will also perform a self-assessment to evaluate just how vulnerable you are to security flaws.

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

Most people 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 will learn all about it in this lesson.

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

This lesson introduces you to the ware family. What 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 will meet them and learn all about where they live, places they frequent, and how to remove these unwelcome guests.

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 will find your answers here, along with priceless information on protecting your computer and your network to keep your business and personal data private.

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? Denial of Service attacks and SYN flooding are two types of network attacks that seem to go unnoticed on personal PCs and small networks. After this lesson, you will no longer be left wondering what happened to your Internet connection.

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

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

Laptops and wireless connectivity aren't as secure as they appear. You will understand why in this lesson.

This lesson explores the Virtual Private Network and how it's different from standard networks, how it works, how to secure it, and how to set up your own. 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.

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? You will learn about emerging security technology that will help make managing and securing your network easier. Finally, you can test yourself against the first security assessment to see how well you've secured your own PC or network.



A familiarity with general computing terminology, an understanding of any operating system you are using (Mac, Windows, or Linux) and an ability to locate programs and change settings.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


Debbie Mahler

Debbie Mahler has worked for 15 years in the computer repair industry and runs her own IT business. She teaches on a wide range of business-related topics at the university level and has written six books on the business. She also contributes to several publications. Mahler holds a Bachelor of Art in Applied Behavioral Psychology and the title of Symantec Software Partner and Security Specialist.


This course has made my decision to further my interest in pc security for possible future employment. I have learned so much from you these past 6 weeks. I will definitely recommend your course to friends and relatives.

This course was excellent. Every lesson kept me interested. The assignments taught me very useful things to be done on my computer. The material is challenging, and I expect to want to review it many times in the future. The instructor demonstrated that she really knows her stuff!

Very informative course. The presentation and additional materials helped out a lot. At 31, it is my first step in a better career, and am very grateful for teachers like you!

What a fantastic course. It has really made me stop and think about the nitty and gritty of my computers. No more using just the default settings on my security settings!

I have to admit I was completely clueless on how encryption works with WiFi. The horror stories on the web about individuals hacking personal info by breaking encryption always concerned me, as I had no real idea on securing my own network. Now I have an idea how to go forward with securing my laptop and other computers.

This course has been an eye opener for me; I now have a much better understanding about the Good, Bad and the Ugly of the CyberSpace World (www). At the beginning of this course I was still having internet security problems, which caused me to stumble for the first few weeks. I finally changed to "Clear" as my modem/ISP and my "www" world turned PEACE! This course helped me to see that my "aircard" was definitely manipulated/compromised. I also changed my AntiVirus software to "ESET"...and that is working! I'm presently communicating on a computer that was so compromised that techs in NYC and here in Dallas could not find the problem (blue screen at startup, force shutdowns, etc.). All of that is GONE! GONE! GONE!

I just wanted to thank you for such an excellent course. I've learned so much. You not only know your subject matter, you are a master at teaching it! Thanks again

Hello, I want to express appreciation for how well I picked up and managed the onslaught of newer information. I am good with languages, so it was a natural for me. But I am picky: The instructor presented the information just right. I was able to assimilate most, if not all, through the readings, the quizzes, and going over the final test. It was excellent! Thank you, Debbie!

I've been in IT for 22 years and the government for the past 13. I've taken many courses and taught many as well. I don't remember anyone delivering a course as good as you did in this class. Great job, and I hope I have the opportunity to learn from you again.

Thanks for the great content in this course. Working in IT for many years, I've worked with many of the topics you discussed but never took a course that contained all the details. It was great to have a real professional providing real world information I can use on a daily basis. I will be looking forward to the advanced class.

Self-Guided Course Code: T9225
Instructor-Moderated Course Code: pcs