Cybersecurity and Privacy in the (Post) Corona Virus World

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Tuesday 9:30 to 10:45

First Class: 2/9/2021

Weeks: 6


Instructor: Alan Levy

For the last decade, Alan was a staff member in the University of Michigan’s information assurance and cybersecurity department. He was responsible at Michigan for drafting and implementation of IT policy with a focus on information security, privacy, and regulatory compliance with federal and state laws. Michigan is considered a national leader in cybersecurity in higher education.

Alan graduated from Middlebury College and did graduate work in international politics at the University of Michigan. He taught international politics and foreign policy classes as a teaching assistant. He's held a number of different administrative positions at the university. He taught a version of this class during the 2020 PCU session.


Do you know where your data is? Equifax. Yahoo. Sony. Marriott. Anthem Insurance. Home Depot. These major companies experienced giant cybersecurity breaches in the last decade resulting in hundreds of millions of records with Social Security numbers, email passwords, bank accounts, credit card numbers, and personal health information being stolen by a variety of bad actors, making almost every American vulnerable to identity theft, credit problems, and extortion. It’s not just big corporations at risk; numerous government agencies at all levels, medical centers, universities and colleges, and millions of individuals have been victims of large-scale data breaches as well.

Teaching Objectives: Class attendees will walk away with a solid overview of key topics in cybersecurity and privacy from both an individual (personal) and organizational perspective. They will get lots of tips for enhancing their own information security and privacy. They will also be introduced to some of the most challenging and controversial issues facing us today related to data security and personal privacy. This course does not assume any technical knowledge. Each class will include a presentation followed by discussion and plenty of opportunity for questions.

Class Sessions:
Session 1: will provide an overview of major issues and challenges in cybersecurity at the national and international level, including ongoing cybersecurity threats at the individual (phishing, ransomware, email compromise) organizational, institutional and governmental level.

Session 2: will focus on a history and overview of privacy including its connection to cybersecurity.

Session 3: will focus on Safe Computing 101: Steps you can take to protect your personal cybersecurity and privacy, including avoiding online scams, social media, personal health information, and banking and other financial accounts.

Session 4: Controversial Topics in Cybersecurity and Privacy (encryption, surveillance, facial recognition, the role of government)

Session 5: Cybersecurity and Privacy in the Coronavirus Era and Cybersecurity in the 2020 Election

Optional Session 6: Class attendees will have the opportunity to ask about anything they want to learn more about, clarification of content from prior classes, or other tips and recommendations. Will include a specific focus on digital estate planning

If you attended this class in 2020, there will be sufficient new content in each session to make it worthwhile to attend in 2021.

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