March 26

6 words on Security: A Challenge



by James Costello

Ernest Hemingway wrote a story in six words when he was challenged to do so:

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Six powerful words that tell a much deeper story than a simple number count would imply.

Over the past few months National Public Radio has run a series of stories about Smith Magazines Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs By Famous and Obscure Writers and Six Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak. The first piece ran in January and is available at this link: The second ran just before Valentines Day and is available here: What was also interesting was that NPR also issued a challenge to their audience to write their own six word stories which is available here:

These two stories and the challenge offered by Smith inspired me to create a few six word stories about security:

Windows Antivirus should always be running.

Don’t forget to update your computer.

Likes to click every e-mail link!

Dan, don’t break the Internet, again.

Once infected, don’t trust your computer.

Computer infected, don’t trust husband’s surfing.

Damn it, Dan, quit breaking DNS.

So, dear reader, now that I have written a few, I’d like to challenge you. Write your own six word stories for security.


Six words exactly

Tells a story about security.

Original works.


Make the stories personal

Let it flow

Please either post them here or send them to I am going to compile the ones that I receive as a presentation and possibly go the same way as Smith Magazine and create a book out of them. I will attribute all works to their original author’s, if you want to be anonymous please let me know.

So, get out there and get to writing – really short stories.


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  1. Once you’ve detected them, they’re gone.

    Your Grandma’s computer is indeed 0wned.

    Security to Windows, Oil to Water.

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