Hacking 101: Intro to Cybersecurity

The job market for cybersecurity is growing rapidly, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. Get started in securing the future with our free online cybersecurity prep course, developed in partnership with one of the top-ranked cybersecurity bootcamps on SwitchUp.

Not sure where to start on your journey to a new tech career?

Learners who want to dig into the basics of cybersecurity, including how virtualization works, can get started with Flatiron School’s free prep course, Hacking 101: Intro to Cybersecurity, to get a look at some of the topics and exercises cybersecurity analysts work with every day.

Free Course (No Catch)

This 2-hour prep course is exactly what it sounds like: 100% free. No credit card required, no trial periods or expiration dates, so you can set your schedule and learn at your own pace.

Hands-On Labs

In addition to instructional videos, this course offers a practice lab for you to get familiar with the basics of virtualization.

Explore Your Future in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity analysts have never been more in demand, according to the New York Times. This prep course will introduce you to the skills needed to secure the future.

Designed from Proven Curriculum

Developed in partnership with SecureSet, one of the top-ranked cybersecurity bootcamps, according to SwitchUp, Hacking 101 is the perfect place to start learning more about cybersecurity.

What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is the protection of computer systems from theft or damage to their hardware, software, or electronic data. Cybersecurity analysts are taught to find evidence of hackers in an organization’s networks and then work with other security professionals and authorities to catch them. They play an essential role in protecting organizations against “threat actors” or bad hackers.

Hacking 101 will introduce you to one of the most important concepts to know as a cybersecurity professional: virtualization.


At its most basic level, virtualization is a type of process that creates a virtual environment that allows a user to run multiple operating systems on a computer simultaneously. In other words, it is the creation of a virtual (vs. an actual) resource such as an operating system, server, or network resource. 

Security professionals utilize virtualization to perform security research, engineer security solutions, or conduct digital forensics. Organizations use virtualization to test and deploy new technologies, to execute untested code in a sandboxed environment, to maximize server resources, as well as to redirect hackers into virtual vs. actual network resources so they can study and sandbox their enemy.

Start learning

Learn.co, the proprietary learning platform that powers Flatiron’s free cybersecurity prep course, hosts a series of instructional videos and practice labs for learning more about cybersecurity. Students on Learn.co interact with a worldwide community of students and harness real cybersecurity tools to truly learn by doing.

Real Tools

You can’t learn practical skills without real tools. Learn.co features a practice lab that a professional cybersecurity analyst would employ on the job, including a real virtual environment.

Live Curriculum

We ensure that students always get the most relevant technical skills by embracing an open-source curriculum – a living course of study featuring thousands of updates a year to reflect industry trends and student feedback.

Curious if a cybersecurity career is for you?

Start learning about the fundamentals of cybersecurity and virtualization – for free and on your schedule. Setup is quick and works on virtually any computer so you can be learning in minutes.

Is Hacking 101: Intro to Cybersecurity really free?

100%. Our cybersecurity prep course does not require any credit card information and does not have a time limit. You’ll begin learning about virtualization and have full access to video lessons and lab.

If I want to apply to Flatiron School, do I need to finish all of Hacking 101 before doing so?

While making progress in our free prep courses is the best way to strengthen your application to our online and on-campus bootcamps, finishing the full prep course is not required to apply. This free prep course is meant to help you determine whether you want to pursue a lifelong cybersecurity career.

Our admissions team primarily wants to see consistency in how you’re preparing. As soon as you feel ready to commit your time and energy to an immersive program, you’re encouraged to apply to any of our online or on-campus cyber programs. Note, it’s important to understand that your initial application and interview is a way for us to get to know you and for you to get to know us, and includes no technical questions.

Attend an Event

Join us for a tour, seminar, or info session to see what student life is like at Flatiron.

Contact Us

Have a question about our program that we haven’t answered above?