Learning Security


Of the quantitative competencies described above, fifty percent or more of cumulative-track students were able to execute the following tasks in an unannounced evaluation:

  • Create and manage a strong password.

  • Create and securely share an encrypted chat room location and check the identity of (authenticate) the person with whom they were chatting.

  • Launching Tor, confirming their IP and navigating to an onion-only site.

  • Use a VPN.

Generally more challenging were the compound tasks, especially those involving the use of hidden encrypted volumes. While participants demonstrated strongest attainment in simpler tasks, these are also the ones most likely to be relevant to daily journalistic work and general information-security practice. Such tasks include the use of strong passwords, encrypted chat services, protected web browsing, and remote log-in work with Tor and VPN services. On the qualitative side, many participants did report better password habits in their daily routines, including some who actively improved old/bad passwords for other services. They also set up log-in requirements for their computers and had in some cases encrypted additional media beyond their hard drives. All students also had firewall protection turned on.