Learning resources for digital TIPS

This list of online courses and resources is maintained by Dr Dmitry Dereshev (The University of Manchester), and Professor Vladimiro Sassone (University of Southampton). You can learn more about the people behind SPRITE+ here.

If you have stumbled upon an unfamiliar digital TIPS term, check our glossary here.

If you know of a free on-demand resource along the same lines as the ones listed below, feel free to send your suggestions to admin@spritehub.org. Please ensure that the resource is free, aligned with digital TIPS, and contains educational content that's appropriate for newcomers.

Last updated: 2020-08-17.

Start Here (Level 0)Continue Exploring (Level 1)More in-depth Knowledge (Level 2)Card-Based ExercisesInteractive Browser GamesCapture the Flag (CTF)Even More Challenges

Khan Academy: Cybersecurity 101

If you only have a few minutes, here's an intro course for you.

The Open University: Introduction to Cyber Security: Stay Safe Online

Gain essential cyber security knowledge and skills, to help protect your digital life.

edX: Introduction to Cybersecurity

An introduction to cybersecurity, ideal for learners who are curious about the world of Internet security and who want to be literate in the field.

NOVA Labs: Cybersecurity Lab

Test what you've learned! In this Lab, you’ll defend a company that is the target of increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks.

CyberSeek: Cybersecurity Career Pathway

There are many opportunities for workers to start and advance their careers within cybersecurity.

Coursera: Internet History, Technology, and Security

This course will open up the Internet and show you how it was created, who created it and how it works. Along the way we will meet many of the innovators who developed the Internet and Web technologies that we use today.

edX: Cyber Security Economics

Learn how to make better decisions about security and IT by using state-of-the-art economic tools, security metrics and data analytics.

Coursera: Cryptography I

In this course you will learn the inner workings of cryptographic systems and how to correctly use them in real-world applications.

edX: Introduction to Hyperledger Blockchain Technologies

A primer to blockchain, distributed ledgers and Hyperledger technologies.

edX: Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies

Learn the fundamentals of Bitcoin and the Cryptocurrency space, including the basics of smart contracts, the Ethereum platform and how to build decentralized applications.

edX: Introduction to the Internet of Things (IoT)

Gain an understanding of what the IoT is and the requirements to design your own IoT solutions. Start developing IoT ideas in your industry.

edX: Cybersecurity and Privacy in the IoT

An optional module after the "Introduction to the Internet of Things". Learn about the security and privacy implications of the IoT and how to design a secure system.

edX: Digital Security and Human Rights

Claim your rights and protect yourself online.

Coursera: Securing Digital Democracy

Learn what every citizen should know about the security risks — and future potential — of electronic and Internet voting.

edX: Cyberwar, Surveillance and Security

Understand the competing tensions of laws related to privacy and national security.

MIT Open Courseware: Computer Systems Security

Lectures cover threat models, attacks that compromise security, and techniques for achieving security, based on recent research papers. Topics include operating system (OS) security, capabilities, information flow control, language security, network protocols, hardware security, and security in web applications.

A number of practical games are delivered through cards. Here is our list of card-based digital TIPS exercises.


Riskio is designed for players from IT technology and non-technical backgrounds. Riskio will teach players to identify security vulnerabilities and appropriate defences.

Crypto Go

Crypto Go teaches you the basics of cryptography, security, and the CIA pillars: Confidenciality, Integrity and Authentication. Recommended for ages 14+, with 4-6 players.

Cyber Threat Defender (CTD)

CTD is a card game which also has a video game form (Windows and Mac). It is designed to teach cybersecurity principles and a wide range of security issues.

Decisions & Disruptions

A tabletop/role-playing game about security in industrial control systems. D-D players are challenged with managing the security of a small utility company.

Games you can play right in your browser that cover some aspects of digital TIPS.

Cybersecurity Lab

In this Lab, you’ll defend a company that is the target of increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks.


You take a role as an "Cyber Ninja" defending BigRed Uni form various threats. A bit like Papers, Please, but with security skills in mind.

CTFs are a popular way to test your hacking skills. You are given a prompt, and your job is to recover a "flag" - usually a string of letters and numbers hidden within your target, be it a vulnerable computer, a website, or an encrypted piece of text. Below is a selection of CTFs available at any time.

Check CTF Time for which time-sensitive competitions are happening now.

CTF Field Guide

Learn to win at Capture The Flag (CTF). These competitions distill major disciplines of professional computer security work into short, objectively measurable exercises. The focus areas that CTF competitions tend to measure are vulnerability discovery, exploit creation, toolkit creation, and operational tradecraft.

Root Me

Challenge your hacking skills.

Hack the Box

Penetration testing labs.

Defend the Web

An Interactive Cyber Security Platform.


Challenges here range from cryptography to forensics to web.


picoCTF is a free computer security game targeted at middle and high school students, created by security experts at Carnegie Mellon University.

Over the Wire

The wargames offered by the OverTheWire community can help you to learn and practice security concepts in the form of fun-filled games.

Google Capture the Flag

Google runs a CTF competition in two rounds: an online qualification round and an onsite final round.

XSS Game Area

Practice your Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks and defences.

Metasploit Unleashed (MSFU)

This course is a good starting point for Information Security Professionals who want to learn penetration testing and ethical hacking.

If you would like to get into even more challenges, and see the current CTFs taking place, here are two sources for that.


The site lists a number of other challenge sites you can visit.

CTF Time

This sites tracks which CTFs are currently live, and has a leaderboard for top teams.

Call for Events is now open! We're supporting Members and Expert Fellows to lead activities that explore aspects of TIPS in the Digital Economy. We will help to organise the activity with up to £5,000 to cover the associated costs.