7 Free Ethical Hacking Online Courses For Beginners in Cybersecurity 

You can see a thousand and one free ethical hacking online courses with just a quick Google search. But the problem is, just very few of them have what you’re looking for.

That is why I’ve taken out my time to compile the 7 best free ethical hacking courses you can take to kick-start your cybersecurity career.

You see, ethical hacking is one of the digital courses that is currently in high demand. This is because most companies do not want to take their information security lightly.

Most companies have two or more ethical hackers in their payroll. And the fun of this career choice is, you get to work from anywhere. You have the flexibility of time and space.

So before we go right into reviewing free ethical hacking online courses that can help jumpstart your career, let’s understand who an ethical hacker is and what he does.

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Who Is An Ethical Hacker?

An ethical hacker is an individual who is employed to assess how vulnerable the computers and networks of a company are.

He does this by thinking in line with an authorized hacker and trying to hack into the company’s computer systems. When he spots a weakness (something a black hat hacker would take advantage of), he gets it fixed immediately to strengthen the computer systems.

A Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is authorized to carry out his hacking attacks. Because his job is to prevent the company from attacks and not attack it. That is why he is known as a White Hat Hacker. 

The thing is, to stop a hacker, you have to think like one.

What Are The Roles Of Ethical Hackers?

The roles of an ethical hacker in an organization are diverse. They do not just pretend system penetration. They do lots more. Here are a few examples of what an ethical hacker does:

  • He hacks into the systems of his employers to discover potential threats and vulnerabilities
  • He nullifies the threat of other hackers by fixing threats and vulnerabilities before they are discovered.
  • An ethical hacker engages in social engineering methodologies to protect its employer.
  • He ensures proper documentation and reporting of his findings.

He hacks into the systems of his employers to discover potential threats and vulnerabilities

He nullifies the threat of other hackers by fixing threats and vulnerabilities before they are discovered.

An ethical hacker engages in social engineering methodologies to protect its employer.

He ensures proper documentation and reporting of his findings.

Career options in Ethical Hacking

As a certified ethical hacker, you have diverse career opportunities. You can work as:

  • A Penetration Tester
  • A vulnerability Assessor
  • An Information Security Analyst
  • Security Consultant
  • Information Security manager
  • Certified Ethical Hacker, etc.

Types Of Hackers

Hackers are categorized into six. They are:

White-Hat Hackers

White-Hat Hackers are cybersecurity professionals employed to discover and fix vulnerabilities in a company’s computer network. Their job is to prevent attacks from Black-Hat Hackers.

Black-Hat Hackers

These are the direct opposite of white-hat hackers. They are known for maliciously trying to break into their victims’ systems. It is always either to steal money, discover hidden information, or destroy important data. Some even do it just for fun. 

Gray-Hat Hackers

This set of hackers have the combination of white-hat and black-hat skills. Their mode of operation is to search for vulnerabilities in companies’ systems without authorization. When they see one, they inform the owner.

Then they’d make their demands known to the owner of the company. If their request is not granted, they would carry out the black-hat hacking part of their job.

Green-Hat Hackers

Green-hat hackers are known as amateur hackers. They are just new into the profession and are yet to develop lots of technical abilities.

Blue-Hat Hackers

There are two different understanding of blue-hat hackers. Some people see them as amateur hackers whose reason for going into hacking is revenge. While in another context, they are seen as hackers hired by top companies to perform vulnerability tests on their systems before launching.

Red-Hat Hackers

the red-hat hackers are usually hired by the government to haunt down black-hat hackers. They are the enemies of black-hat hackers, as their duty is to discover them and shut them down or even send malware to completely destroy their computers.

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Top 7 Free Ethical Hacking Online Courses

Having known what an ethical hacker does, here are ten free ethical hacking online courses you can take to begin your career.

Depending on the aspect of hacking you want to focus on, there are courses here to attend to your needs.

1. Cybersecurity Specialization (Coursera)

This Cybersecurity course offered by the University of Maryland is structured to teach you the fundamental concepts of system security.

From the hardware to the software to the human-computer interface, you will learn to secure interactions using cryptography.

The course shows practical examples on how to perform different hacking and security tasks. And you will get hands-on exercises to work on to develop your system security consciousness in the shortest possible time.

This is a detailed course as it takes approximately 8 months, with at least 31 hours per week, to complete.

It is believed that by the time you are done with this course, you already have deep insight on the following topics:

  • Usable Security
  • Software Security
  • Cryptography
  • Hardware Security
  • Cybersecurity Capstone Project

To enroll for the course, click here

2. Hacking and Patching (Coursera)

In this course, University of Colorado  introduces you to the world of white-hat hacking. You will learn how to hack web apps with command and SQL injection vulnerabilities.

You will also learn the best defense strategies for every hacking or security attacks.

The instructor, Professor Edward Chow, will expose you to different software tools for scanning vulnerabilities, testing penetrations, gaining access to vulnerable Windows Systems and then performing remote VNC server injections.

Here are the topics you’ll learn in this course:

  • Injection Web App Attacks and Their Defenses
  • Hack SQL Databases and Patch Web Apps with SQL Injection Vulnerabilities
  • Memory Attacks and Defenses
  • Penetration Testing

Click here to take the course.

3. Cybersecurity Basics: A hands-on Approach (edX)

Handled by four Computer security professors from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, this course promises to give you a hands-on lesson on cybersecurity.

You will learn how to protect your computer systems against the different kinds of cybersecurity threats in existence. You will get to know the different aspects of cybersecurity and how they affect your business.

The instructors have made available all materials you need to get a practical understanding of security attacks and how to establish appropriate countermeasures.

Here is a brief rundown of what you will learn in this course:

  • Cybersecurity landscape
  • Reverse engineering
  • Managing and monitoring network cybersecurity attacks
  • Computer forensics
  • Malware and advanced persistent threats
  • Vulnerability management and pentesting

Click here to take the course

4. Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking (Cybrary)

this course is a detailed revelation on everything you need to know about testing system penetrations and ethical hacking generally.

Offered by Cybrary, a cybersecurity and IT workforce development platform, it guarantees to walk you through the entire ethical hacking process.

From ethical hacking and the CEH certification introduction to the different types of system attacks, you will be amazed by what you’ll be learning for free in this course.

At the end of this course, you will be able to detect and secure various vulnerabilities. Also, you will be able to give a company an assurance on the security of its systems and information.

Here are the modules of the course:

  • Introduction to Ethical Hacking and CEH certification
  • Footprinting and Reconnaissance
  • Application of scanning tools
  • Tools and techniques used to break into systems
  • Hacking networks, web applications and mobiles
  • Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability

5. IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate Course (Coursera)

If you’ve been looking for a detailed cybersecurity course to introduce you to the world of system securities, this is the course for you.

At the end of this course, you will be ready to work for any firm as a Cybersecurity Analyst. And the fun of it is, you’d be getting a certificate at the end.

IBM has structured this course to teach you how to use cybersecurity tools to make security analysis. You will get deep insights on key security compliance and threat intelligence. Furthermore, you will develop forensic skills to respond to security incidences.

The fact that you will get hands-on experience at the end of every module is the biggest takeaway from this course.

Here are the courses you will take under this course:

  • Introduction to Cybersecurity Tools & Cyberattacks
  • Cybersecurity Roles, Processes & Operating System Security
  • Cybersecurity Compliance Framework & System Administration
  • Network Security & Database Vulnerabilities
  • Penetration Testing, Incident Response and Forensics
  • Cyber Threat Intelligence
  • Cybersecurity Capstone: Breach Response Case Studies
  • IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Assessment

All the courses listed here are major courses on their own. You can decide to take them separately, but if you wish to be certified at the end, you’d need to take the full certification course.

6. Hacking Academy: How to Monitor & Intercept Transmitted Data (Udemy)

Whether you’re a cybersecurity enthusiast, a student or a company owner. Provided you have a computer where your files are stored, I’d advise you to make out time for this course.

This course is structured to teach you how to recognize when your computer is being maliciously accessed. It will also teach you how to step in and intercept every form of data being transmitted out of your computer. Additionally, you will learn how to protect your system from cyber-attacks.

With over 147,000 students and, 3200 positive reviews, it is certain that this course from IT Security Academy is filled with lots of valuable content.

Here are the course topics:

  • Introduction
  • Monitoring Transmitted Data
  • Intrusion Detection Systems
  • How to use Wireshark
  • Writing a Shellcode

You can access the course from here.

7. A Complete Guide To Linux: From Beginner To Advanced (Udemy)

Just very few people use Linux in their desktop computers. But I guess that’s because they do not know the benefits it brings to a user when it comes to system security.

Linux has advanced programs for network security assessment. It is mainly used to configure servers and networks.

To be able to prevent these servers and networks from being attacked, you need to understand how they are configured. That is why IT Security Academy has brought you this course.

In this course, you will be introduced to the Linux operating system, from beginner to advanced level. People say Linux is hard to operate. But believe me, after taking this course, you’d be as good with Linux as you can be with any other operating system.

Here are the course contents:

  • Introduction
  • Distribution
  • Basic Information about the System
  • System Installation
  • KDE and GNOME environment
  • Linux Console
  • Additional Software
  • VirtualBox
  • Applications for viewing and editing images
  • Multimedia and other useful tools
  • Windows games, Wine implementation and Winetricks
  • System Security
  • Rootkits and Stealth Apps: Creating and Revealing v2.0 course

Wrapping it Up On Ethical Hacking Online Courses

A knowledge of ethical hacking makes you conscious of your system security. Whether you’re an intending hacker or not, it feels safe knowing that when your computer is under attack, you know what to do to at least mitigate for that moment. 

The free ethical hacking online courses in this article have been carefully selected to teach you all you need to know about the basics of ethical hacking. Though they are free, most of them are more comprehensive than most paid ethical hacking courses you will see online. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Ethical Hacking Online Courses

How Much Can An Ethical Hacker Make?

The median salary for Certified Ethical Hackers in the United States is &168,948. The top 25% make $786,676 while the bottom 25% earn $35,160.

Can I Learn Ethical Hacking Online?

Yes, there are detailed courses that can take you from a mere novice to an expert within a year. Most of the courses listed in this article will give you the much-needed fundamental guide.

Is Ethical Hacking Legal?

Ethical hacking is a legal profession. The duty of an ethical hacker is to monitor and protect their computers and that of their employees from malicious attacks. However, some people misuse this knowledge and use it to perpetrate lots of cyber crimes.

Why Do People Hack?

Some people hack for the fun of it, while others do it to prove to themselves and their peers that they are capable of doing so. However, there are those who hack for financial gains or to launch a revenge attack.

How Much Does The CEH Exam Cost?

The application fee for the CEH exam is a nonrefundable $100. However, you also need to pay a minimum of $950 to acquire exam vouchers.
If you plan on taking the exam online, you’d need to pay some extra fees in excess of $100 to be assigned an individual proctor who will monitor you during the exam.

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