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Introduction to Cybersecurity (Vigenere)

This course prepares students with crucial skills to be responsible citizens in a digital future. It is designed for beginner computer science students with no specific course prerequisites. Students will learn foundational cybersecurity topics including digital citizenship and cyber hygiene, the basics of cryptography, software security, networking fundamentals, and basic system administration. This is a one year course designed for high school students.

Overview & Highlights

High School
Contact Hours

Course Overview

To view the entire syllabus, click here or click to explore the full course.

What is Cybersecurity?
Students will be introduced to cybersecurity basics. They will focus on why cybersecurity is important, recent threats to cybersecurity, and different careers in the field.
Digital Citizenship and Cyber Hygiene
Students will explore topics on Internet etiquette and how to stay safe on the world wide web. They will also look at the potential effects of their digital footprints, how to protect information from online risks, and the implications of cyberbullying. Finally, the module includes how to find and cite quality resources online.
Project: Public Service Announcement
For this project, students will create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to teach their peers about digital citizenship and cyber hygiene. They can select any of the topics covered in this unit.
The ABCs of Cryptography
Students will dive into the history of cryptography systems, the motivation behind using encryption systems, and basic cryptography systems. Additionally, students will explore topics on how to use cryptography, cryptology, and cryptanalysis to decode a message without the use of a key. Finally, they will look into more advanced cryptographic topics like public key cryptography and hash functions.
Project: Classic Cipher Newscast
In this project, students will get to create a newscast! This could be pre-recorded or presented live. They will be assigned to teams of 3-4. Each team is expected to write, rehearse, and perform an approximately 5 – 10 minute newscast. Each team will be given a different **classic cipher** (beyond Caesar and Vigenere) to research and address in their newscast.
Software Security
Students will learn what happens when running a web application and how to look inside web apps using developer tools, source code, and more. They will learn basic SQL so they can learn about common attacks like SQLi and XSS, and recommend solutions for flawed security systems.
Networking Fundamentals
Students will explore the structure and design of the internet and networks, and how this design affects the reliability of network communication, the security of data, and personal privacy. They will learn how the Internet connects computers all over the world. Finally, students will explore basic networking protocols, practical networking, and how networks are secured.
Final Course Project
In this final course project, students will have the option of selecting one of two of the pathways: create a presentation and flyer about a career in Cybersecurity or tips for online safety. Each will require research outside what has been provided in this course.
Final Exam
Students are assessed on topics learned throughout the course.

Offline Handouts

Demo Programs

Explore programs that your students will build throughout this course!

Course Resources

Here are a few examples of teacher resources and materials to use in the Introduction to Cybersecurity (Vigenere) course

Industry-Relevant Certifications for High School Computer Science

The CodeHS Cybersecurity Level 1 Certification offers high school students the opportunity to validate their mastery of Cybersecurity, giving them a competitive advantage when entering college or the workforce.

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Professional Development

Teaching Fundamentals of Cybersecurity

The CodeHS Cybersecurity course prepares students with crucial skills to be responsible citizens in a digital future and protect themselves from the growing threat of cyber attacks. With the CodeHS online Professional Development course, we'll train teachers at your school to teach an excellent Cybersecurity course. No programming experience is required. Teachers will gain the skills, pedagogical knowledge, resources, and confidence to lead a great cybersecurity class with CodeHS.

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Introduction to Cybersecurity (Vigenere) is aligned with the following standards

Standards Framework View Alignment
Georgia Foundations of Secure Information Systems View (75.7%)
Virginia Cybersecurity Fundamentals View (74.3%)
Nevada Tech 6-8 View (70%)

Customizable Assignments

Create and organize Assignments in any CodeHS course that you're teaching. You can even add custom assignments to pre-existing CodeHS courses.

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Actions for Teachers

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