The words “unsecure” and “insecure” are similar in their root meaning (using the word “secure”). However, they both come with differences that are important to highlight. In this article, we’ll explore what they mean and why they are so different.
What Is The Difference Between “Unsecure” And “Insecure”?
“Unsecure” should be used when saying that something is not secured or not guaranteed in any way. It usually never has been, either. “Insecure” should be used when saying that something lacks security, even if there was an intention to keep that thing secure.
The meaning of “insecure,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “not safe or not protected.” We can also talk about people being “insecure,” which means they “have little confidence and are uncertain about their own abilities.”
The meaning of “unsecure,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “not made safe; not protected from danger or risk.”
Is “Unsecure” A Word?
We want to talk about the differences between “unsecure” and “insecure” in this article. However, there is one vital difference that we have to talk about now before we continue.
“Unsecure” is not officially recognized as a word in most dictionaries. “Unsecured” is the correct spelling when using it as an adjective to talk about something that is not safe or protected.
While it isn’t an officially recognized word, that doesn’t mean native speakers don’t use it. It’s fairly common to use in place of “not secure,” although saying “not secure” is often more acceptable in formal situations.
What Does “Unsecure” Mean?
“Unsecure” means that something is not kept safe or protected. Generally, we either have no intention to keep it protected or forget to do so, and someone might be reminding us about it. Usually, the thing was never protected in the first place.
Typically, when someone reminds us that something is unsecured, they’re helping us to protect it. By reminding us, they’re saying that they don’t want us to lose whatever that thing is.
It can talk about physical protection, like a bike lock, or material protection, like a computer password (or lack of one).
Unsecure – Example Sentences
Let’s go over some cases where “unsecure” is the correct word to use. Remember, it’s not officially recognized as a word, so it’s rare to come across. Still, we’ll use it in the correct form, “unsecured,” to make sure you understand it.
- Your bike is unsecured in that rack. Do you trust the people around here not to steal it?
- Your computer is unsecured without a password!
- These shelves are unsecured, which puts them at risk of falling on people’s heads.
- You’ve unsecured the bolts for me!
- You shouldn’t leave your phone unsecured when you’re out of the room.
- That laptop is unsecured; anyone could steal it.
What Does “Insecure” Mean?
Now let’s look at what “insecure” means. It’s more common to come across this one, so you’ll want to pay close attention to this meaning.
“Insecure” means that something lacks security or protection in some way. Usually, security protocols are already in place, though it might mean that they’re not up to par and aren’t doing the job you require of them.
It can also mean that someone doesn’t believe in themselves or doesn’t think they’re worth other people’s time. It’s probably more common to hear it in this case in this day and age because of the increasing focus on mental health problems.
Insecure – Example Sentences
We’ll include some examples of both meanings of “insecure” to help you understand which one you should use when you’re writing or speaking.
- Your computer is insecure because your firewall isn’t on.
- I’m insecure and worry about what people might think about me.
- This is an insecure document without password protection on it.
- You’ve compromised our entire infrastructure, and now our details are insecure.
- You shouldn’t give a hacker a chance to get into your computer. Leaving it insecure is just asking for trouble.
- She’s really insecure, and it shows. She should open up a bit more.
From these examples, you can see how “insecure” is used. Most of the time, we’re either talking about people feeling like they’re not good enough, or we’re talking about the security you can find on computers and other devices.
There aren’t many other cases where “insecure” is used.
Unsecure Vs. Insecure Website
To demonstrate how “insecure” is mostly used relating to computer lingo, we’ll look through some specific examples a little more closely.
You should say “unsecure website” when no security was put in place when it was first created. You should say “insecure website” if the website doesn’t have a suitable security set in place to keep scammers and hackers out of it.
Unsecure Vs. Insecure Network
Generally, in the case of a network, only one of these two words is correct.
“Insecure network” is used to say that your network is left exposed and vulnerable. Most people have built-in protections on their networks, so any potential exploits will lead to an “insecure network” for you to work with.
Unsecure Vs. Insecure Password
We say “insecure password” when we want to talk about a password that is weak and easy to crack. If it’s not made up of sufficiently random characters, then it is “insecure.”
We typically don’t say “unsecure password” because a password is a form of security. “Unsecure” is used when no security is present, which is why it doesn’t work in this case.
Quiz: Unsecure Vs. Insecure
Let’s finish with a quiz to see whether you’ve understood the main differences between the two words. You can compare your answers at the end!
- I need help setting up a password that isn’t as (A. unsecured / B. insecure) as my last one.
- I’m too (A. unsecured / B. insecure) to talk to him.
- You left it (A. unsecured / B. insecure), so don’t blame anyone else now that you’ve lost it.
- You should work on the (A. unsecured / B. insecure) network while I’m away.
- Why is everything here (A. unsecured / B. insecure)? It poses a health risk if things fall off walls.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.