Cyber Insurance Blog

Serious Spaceballs Lessons on the Importance of Strong Passwords

Serious Spaceballs Lessons on the Importance of Strong Passwords
("A Man In A Helmet With Glasses Wallpaper" by is licensed under CC BY 2.0.)

As Cyber Insurance brokers, your responsibility includes teaching your clients best practices for safeguarding sensitive information. But have you considered using a dose of humor to educate them about the importance of strong passwords?

Look no further than Spaceballs (1987), Mel Brooks’s classic send-up of sci-fi movies, for a hilarious way to drive home your message.

In one scene, bad guy Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) learns the “secure” combination to a planet’s air shield is “12345.” He exclaims, “That’s the stupidest combination I’ve ever heard in my life!”

As the audience, we can’t help but chuckle at the sheer absurdity of this supposedly secure password. But amid the laughter, you can find a valuable lesson about the real-world risks of weak passwords.

The Spaceballs fans among us at ProWriters think this scene was prescient! It may be more relevant now than it was in 1987. It’s a wake-up call to take password security seriously. Weak passwords can leave personal data exposed to cyber criminals and lead to identity theft, financial losses, and more—none of which are laughing matters.

Why Strong Passwords Are Important Red padlock icon marked “X” next to weak password above green icon with check mark next to strong password.

Most of us deal with so many passwords every day, it’s helpful to pause and remember why strong passwords are important.

When cyber attacks are rampant and data breaches can occur at any moment, the importance of strong passwords has never been greater. They can help keep threat actors from gaining unauthorized access to personal and sensitive information.

Weak and simple passwords that can be easily guessed leave data, and the individuals and organizations holding it, vulnerable to identity theft, cyber extortion, fraudulent transfer of funds, and other malicious activity.

In addition, strong passwords can protect not only an individual’s or company’s online accounts, but also those of others linked to theirs.

Strong passwords aren’t the only cyber security control businesses should have in place. For example, multifactor authentication (MFA) is another way to enhance data security.

But strong passwords remain critically important—and you can use Spaceballs to help your clients understand how to create them.

5 Best Password Practices Inspired by the Spaceballs Galaxy

Using the Spaceballs scene as a conversation starter, offer your clients these tips for protecting online accounts with strong passwords:

Mix It Up

Encourage clients to create complex passwords. Combine upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. It doesn’t matter if the password looks as wild and zany as Spaceballs‘ cast of characters. The more complicated a password, the less likely a brute force attack can crack it.

Avoid the Obvious

Dark Helmet also says “12345” is “the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!” And yet, nearly 40 years later, it’s still one of the most common passwords around. Remind your clients not to use such predictable combinations or easily guessable information like names or birthdates.

Go the Distance

Urge your clients to use passwords nearly as long as Dark Helmet’s ludicrously stretched-out spaceship! Twelve characters is a generally accepted minimum length, but the longer the password, the more secure it will be.

Keep It Fresh

Recommend clients regularly change their passwords—the way Spaceballs‘ Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) is always changing hairstyles. Similarly, don’t reuse the same one multiple times. Each account should have its own unique password.

Take a Vow of Silence

Like the monks who raised Spaceballs hero Lone Starr (Bill Pullman), “take a vow of silence” about your password. Don’t share it with others, and don’t write it down.

Unleashing the Power of Password Managers

Generating and using long, complex passwords may seem like a hassle. Secure password managers can help. Spiral notebook with two weak passwords and one strong password written in it, next to computer keyboard

Reputable password managers securely store all of a user’s passwords in an encrypted database. Users need only remember one master password to access the database and all of their other passwords faster than Dark Helmet can say, “Ludicrous speed, GO!”

Password managers can generate robust, unique passwords for every account. They can also automatically fill in login information when a user visits a website. Some password managers offer such features as two-factor authentication to enhance security.

Think of password managers as a great “sidekick” for managing passwords and online accounts easily, from anywhere—an even better sidekick than Barf (John Candy) is to Lone Starr!

ProWriters Can Help You Become Your Clients’ Cyber Hero

Cyber security is a serious business, but that doesn’t mean brokers can’t have a bit of fun talking about it. Spaceballs can help make discussing the importance of strongCyber broker and client laugh as they watch funny video on laptop computer to discuss importance of strong passwords. passwords entertaining and educational for clients.

But even if you or your clients aren’t Spaceballs fans (what?), talking about why secure passwords are important is a must. ProWriters offers brokers like you many resources for helping your clients understand strong passwords and other cyber security controls.

With your guidance, your clients can say goodbye to laughable “12345” passwords and can keep their data more secure than all of the animals in Dark Helmet’s zoo. And with our guidance, you can become your clients’ Cyber hero.

Contact us online or call us at 484-321-2335 to find out how

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