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Who are you trusting with your passwords?

A real hand peels back the cracked facade of an internet company to show the ease of exposing passwords and the weak PWs that are used

Photo of Joshua Cohen
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Sketch 1 (1,500 characters)

The analogy presented is of an outside person (ie. the real hand) using a tool (ie. tweezers, but could be something else, such as an exacto knife) to easily peel back the paper shell of a "trusted" company to expose the poorly encrypted and weak passwords. The customer's hand is a "post-it" material color with a weak PW jotted down, as many people might do. This visual analogy could be carried forward to a series of illustrations showing other "trusted" institutions, such as: banks hospitals credit cards computer phone atm home (IOT)... like controlling home appliances via apps, or using a keyless door entry app It's purpose is to make the viewer think about how much they trust the company they are sharing their PW with, if the PW is strong or not, and also to wonder about who is peeling back the company's protective layers. The real hand could be various colors or genders, or even covered in a black glove (like a stereotypical thief). In that way, it could show that many types of people may expose company's data. The image does not currently attempt to ascribe a positive or negative connotation to the real hand. It only shows that some skill was needed. The image could also be changed to show the real hand removing the PW data, in order to emphasize someone is stealing it...not just exposing it. I prefer mixed media designs to help hold the viewer's attention longer as they analyze the image to understand it better.

Sketch 2 (1,500 characters)

This was my ideation/brainstorming for different applications of this illustration concept.

What have you learned through this sketching process? (1,000 characters)

I'd like to learn more about cyber security to be able to relate more concepts to consumers and policy makers through visual representations. There is too much to learn for this initial challenge, but I enjoyed thinking of ways to relate the concept of trust, poor security, and external hackers in a cohesive image.

Tell us more about you. (1,000 characters)

I have created graphic art for various projects and business for many years and enjoy using 3D modelling to represent physical based objects such as paper art. I have also created an illustrated children's book to tackle difficult subjects such as death and loss and enjoy thinking about abstract concepts in visual terms, as well as working through longer term creative visual projects such as a book.

Why are you participating in this Challenge? (750 characters)

I enjoy developing visual graphics to convey ideas in artistic and beautiful ways. There is a lack of "functional art" to help people's everyday lives. There are many excellent artists, but I appreciate applying art to function/education.


What is your experience with the field of cybersecurity?

  • I have minimal experience and/or knowledge in the cybersecurity field.

What best describes you?

  • I’m a professional visual creator freelancer.

How did you hear about this OpenIDEO Challenge?

  • OpenIDEO email / social media

Location: City


Location: State / District

North Carolina

Location: Country

  • United States of America


Join the conversation:

Photo of Dima Boulad

Welcome Joshua Cohen  Happy to see your contribution to the Cybersecurity challenge. Very nice style! How would you consider pushing this idea further? We've had a large number of very interesting creations, have you had a chance to browse other submissions? There's a very interesting conversation around cybersecurity going on!

Photo of Joshua Cohen

Dima Boulad 
Yes, I would be glad to work on it further or create something new based on feedback. Is there any specific feedback from the judges that would help to focus the direction of the artwork? I have looked at all of the submissions and there are some great ideas out that were submitted. I chose to stick with my original submission since it communicates my design aesthetic and I didn't want to risk inadvertently taking ideas from other submissions. I'm very open to collaboration with other artists or developing a new graphic, if that's what you are looking for.

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