Does Cybersecurity Need a Hyphen? Debunking the Grammar Myth.


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I’ve always had a knack for grammar, but even I was caught off guard when I heard someone say “cybersecurity” shouldn’t have a hyphen. It was as if someone told me that my entire education had been a lie. How could this be possible? Was it true? As someone who spends their days thinking about cybersecurity, the last thing I want to do is misuse the term. That’s why I did some digging to find out if “cybersecurity” really does need a hyphen. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in to debunk this grammar myth.

Does cybersecurity need a hyphen?

No, cybersecurity does not require a hyphen. When we use the prefix “cyber,” it is not necessary to hyphenate words that follow. Although it is acceptable to use it in informal communication, hyphenating these words distracts the reader’s attention and makes the text less organized. The fewer hyphens you use, the more natural the text looks.

If you want to write about cybersecurity or any other “cyber” related topics, here are some tips you can follow:

  • Use “cyber” as a prefix: The prefix “cyber” serves as an adjective that describes anything related to computer technology or the internet.
  • Avoid hyphenating words: Words that start with “cyber” need not be hyphenated to maintain their meaning.
  • Proofread your work: Spelling errors and incorrect usage of terms can undermine the integrity of your work. Check for grammar and spelling mistakes before hitting the publish button.
  • Recommended reading: If you want to improve your knowledge of cybersecurity, it is helpful to read the works of professionals in the field. There are many books and online resources that can help you learn the basics of cybersecurity.
  • Overall, it is important to follow the basic grammar rules when writing about cybersecurity or any other topic, but don’t get too hung up on hyphenation. Ensuring that your writing is clear, concise and well researched is a more significant factor in gaining credibility and respect in the field.

    ???? Pro Tips:

    1. When writing about cybersecurity, using a hyphen can help clarify that you are referring to the security of computer systems and networks.
    2. However, depending on the context and audience, the hyphen may not be necessary and can potentially cause confusion.
    3. If you’re uncertain whether to include a hyphen, consider the specific style guide being used, such as AP or Chicago, and follow their guidelines.
    4. Always proofread carefully to ensure consistent and correct usage of cybersecurity with or without a hyphen.
    5. Remember that clear and concise language is key in cybersecurity, regardless of whether a hyphen is used or not.

    Introduction: Understanding Cybersecurity Terminology

    As technology has advanced, the need for cybersecurity measures has grown exponentially. Cybersecurity refers to the practices and techniques used to protect computers, networks, and electronic devices from unauthorized access, theft, and damage. However, when it comes to writing about cybersecurity, there is often confusion around the use of hyphens. Should cybersecurity be written with a hyphen or without one? In this article, we will explore this question and provide guidance on best practices for writing cybersecurity terminology.

    Historical Overview of the Term Cybersecurity

    The term cybersecurity emerged in the 1990s, as the internet became more widespread and cyber threats started to emerge. At the time, it was commonly written as “cyber security” with a space between the two words. However, as the term became more established and widespread in usage, the space was gradually dropped, and it became written as “cybersecurity.”

    The Role of Hyphens in Writing Cybersecurity

    Hyphens play an important role in English grammar. They are used to connect words and form compound terms. However, when it comes to writing cybersecurity terminology, there is much debate around the use of hyphens. Some argue that hyphenating terms such as “cybersecurity” helps to clarify the meaning of the word, while others argue that it is unnecessary and makes text harder to read.

    Grammar Rules for Writing Cybersecurity Terms

    While there is no hard and fast rule for writing cybersecurity terminology, there are some grammar guidelines that can be followed. According to the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style, terms that start with the word “cyber” should not be hyphenated. For example, terms like cyberspace, cyberattack, and cybercrime should not be hyphenated.

    Common Cybersecurity Terms with and without Hyphens

    There are many cyber-related terms that are written both with and without hyphens. Here are a few examples:

    Cybersecurity: This term is commonly written as cybersecurity, without a hyphen.
    Cyber-security: This term is less commonly used, but some writers choose to use a hyphen to separate the two components.
    Cyberattack: This term should not be hyphenated according to AP Style.
    Cyber-attack: This term is occasionally seen, but is not commonly used.

    Pros and Cons of Using Hyphens in Cybersecurity Writing

    There are both pros and cons to using hyphens in cybersecurity writing. Here are a few to consider:


    • Hyphens can make it easier to distinguish compound words from other words in a sentence.
    • Using a hyphen can clarify the meaning of a word, especially for those who may not be familiar with the term.


    • Using too many hyphens can make text harder to read and may be visually distracting.
    • Some people find hyphenated words to be clunky and awkward.

    Best Practices for Writing Cybersecurity Terminology

    While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether cybersecurity should be hyphenated, following these best practices can help ensure that your writing is clear and consistent:

    • Use AP Style or Chicago Manual of Style guidelines to determine whether or not to use a hyphen.
    • Be consistent in your use of hyphens. If you choose to use a hyphen in one term, use it in all similar terms throughout your writing.
    • Avoid using too many hyphens. If a term can be easily understood without a hyphen, leave it out.
    • Consider your audience. If you are writing for a technical audience that is familiar with cybersecurity terminology, you may not need to use a hyphen.

    Conclusion: Navigating the Debate of Hyphenating Cybersecurity Terms

    In conclusion, the question of whether cybersecurity should be written with a hyphen is a matter of debate. While there are arguments for and against using hyphens, the most important thing is to ensure that your writing is clear and consistent. By following the guidelines set out by AP Style or the Chicago Manual of Style, and considering your audience, you can navigate the debate around hyphenation and write effective cybersecurity content.