Security.

The word alone is enough to stress you out.

It’s easy to understand why; we have all heard teeth-grinding tales of breaches in security devastating companies and individuals alike. As our jobs and everyday lives — even our homes — become more and more reliant on technology, we’re reaping the benefits while also seeing the scary possibilities. Is it worth it? Should we cut ourselves off from technology completely? Ignore our fears in favor of the benefits?

How often do you ask yourself, “How can I keep my information safe?”

Or maybe you think it’s too much and not worth trying. The more you know, the better prepared you are to take the steps needed to face such challenges — which is why Treehouse has launched an entire Security Track, to provide our students with knowledge to help keep themselves and their applications safe from attack.

We start with a Security Literacy course, which covers the things you should understand and use as a consumer of technology to help keep yourself safe. This includes tools like:

  • HTTPS Everywhere, which ensures that you have a non-snoopable connection to the site you’re using.
  • Enigmail, for safely encrypting your emails
  • Virtual Private Networks, to secure your general Internet usage.

And, of course, much more! If you’re already familiar with these protections, this is a great course to share with your friends and family who are a bit less tech savvy.

Next up is an Introduction to Data Security, which concentrates on what you can do as a developer to make sure you’re handling your users’ data securely and properly. These include things like encrypting data, securely hashing passwords and keeping eavesdroppers out of private communications. This course explains the why and how of tools like GPG; public and private key encryption; and effective hashing techniques. By the end of it, you should have a firm understanding of how you can use your favorite languages and frameworks to make your apps more secure for their end users.

This is followed by Introduction to Application Security, which lays the groundwork for protecting your applications, web services and APIs. Writing secure code and building systems that can stand up to the craftiest hackers isn’t about checking boxes, it’s about embedding the thought processes and principles of rock-solid security into every line you write. This includes the art of maintaining your websites, apps and services on a daily basis.

Finally, our OWASP Top 10 course uses the trusted knowledge framework of Open Web Application Security Project to cover the ten most important web security vulnerabilities in production today. The course also provides information on how to mitigate these vulnerabilities in your own applications, which apply to every web language. It examines each vulnerability in general and then, using a JavaScript frontend and a Node.js backend, demonstrates the specifics of how they occur.

By each of us sharing our knowledge and implementing what we learn, we can help make the web a safer place for everyone.

And not stress out so much.

Take the Beginning Security Track today.
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