2022-07-19 08:00Blog post

Provocative passwords? Yes please!

The word password spelled in scrabble, and an imprint of red lips on top.

Are passwords allowed to be provocative and horny? Can security be easy? May safety even be kind of fun at times? Yes, yes, and yes! Find out how to get Your perfect password sentence - that would make even Madonna blush! 

Either you are safe - or not

Security is not an analogue scale, you can’t be a little or very safe - either you are safe, or not. We are constantly fighting to resist digital attacks today. Marcus Nohlberg - Docent and information security researcher with a doctoral dissertation in Social Engineering based at the University of Skövde - says that "People hate security, but want to be safe".  People want to be safe, but often don’t know how, and have no interest in learning. 

The hard reality is that password attacks sadly have become so common that most people no longer see it as a threat. Even though most of us understand the importance of keeping a password secret, not everyone understands how to manage to keep it secret. And there are still a range of generations of people using the internet, all to a different level of understanding.

Man in a black hoodie writing on keyboard and holding a cell phone.

There are basically three ways to hack your password:
  1. Guessing - The first and easiest way. If your password is “1234”, a cyber criminal doesn’t have to try very hard to access your data.
  2. Database - A hacker can also get a hold of your password by finding it on a database. If your passwords are all stored in one location, or if another company keeps passwords unprotected, then a hacker that manages to break through these locations will have total access. This is why it’s best to never have the same password for two or more areas. If a hacker manages to acquire one of your passwords, they will attempt to open all of your online locations using it.
  3. Human error - One last method for trying to get your passwords is through human interaction. We’re all read the posts on social media saying, “Your band name is your favorite color, mother’s maiden name, and the town you were born in.” A funny game, we think, and submit our “band name” in the comments.  These details are often a part of your security codes though. Information that will help cybercriminals either try to guess your password or tell the website that you forgot your password and use the details to reset it.

    The 4P technique

    When choosing your password, the old advice on mixing uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters and numbers, etc. is long overdue. Instead, try a password sentence based on the 4P technique rule, according to Marcus Nohlberg:

    • PRIVATE – something that’s important only to You – not common knowledge!
    • PERSONAL – no movie quotes, no song lyrics etc.
    • PRACTICAL – easy to remember and write – make it long, but not complicated.
    • PROVOCING – Something sexy, horny, pornographic (yes, you heard us!) - it should be something you'd be too embarressed to say out loud!

The numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 inh wooden boxes against a blue background.


We are human “herrings”

Us humans are a lot like herrings. Yes, the fish! Herring occurs in our waters, and are an important part of feeding when it comes to, for example, the cod. Herring moves in schools along the coasts, and schooling is a kind of collective beahviour used by fish, moving together in a large formation. By moving in schools it makes it harder for the hunters (cods for example) to track their individual movements - it's a defence against predators, and herrings that swim in schools are less likely to be eaten by cods.

Herrings swimming in a school of fish.

But if one herring stands out, it is vulnerable. That’s the one the hunter will attack. Let’s say we – us ordinary folks - are herrings, and the hackers and cyber criminals are cods, trying to eat us. How do we protect ourselves, and is it even possible for an ordinary herring to outsmart a cod? 

“Stay in school”

Yes, there is hope for us "ordinary herrings"! But we need to step up our security level, and be sure not to be the one “standing out” from the crowd. Just like herrings, the one standing out from the school of fish is the one who is vulnerable. If a burglar arrives at a street of houses, he/she can have their pick of villas to break into, you can be sure that they won’t choose your houses with the installed burglar alarm first! They’ll go next door and choose the house with easy access, no lights on the front door and no alarm signs – that’s the one that stands out.

Make sure you stay well protected, stay in school (of fish,) so to speak. It feels silly to say, but we need to fight to be a little better than everyone else, so that we are not the highest priority on the villain's attack list. Harsh, but true.

Don’t Post-it!

So, when you’ve found that brilliant and custom made password, just for you – protect it, keep it safe! When you have done everything you can to prevent an attack, do not save your password on a post-it note under your keyboard, of course!

A yellow postit with the text



About Farsight Tech Nordic

Farsight is a Swedish IT development partner that makes people and organizations grow! We are your ”go-to-guys” regarding all your IT systems, technology and IT-security subject matters. At the same time, we are local community builders and ensue a sound labour market and good ethics. Our business is all about finding clever solutions for secure access, management and communication of business-critical information.


Carina Sjövill
Head of Marketing & Communications
Carina Sjövill