Main Difference – Safe vs Secure
Safe and secure are words that allude to protection from danger and risks, and these two words can be used as synonyms most of the time. However, there is a subtle difference between safe and secure, and they cannot be always used interchangeably. The main difference between safe and secure is safe refers to protection from accidents and mishaps while secure refers to the protection from deliberate dangers or threats.
What Does Safe Mean
Safe is derived from the Latin ‘salvus’ meaning ‘uninjured’. Safe functions as a noun as well as an adjective. To be safe can be defined as the state of being protected against danger or risks. It also means ‘not likely to cause or lead to harm’. Look at the examples below to understand these meanings better.
She felt safe with them.
Do you think it’s a safe place for children?
I hope the water here is safe enough to drink.
In all three examples, safe refers to the protection from unintended threats. Feel safe with someone means that when you are with someone, you feel protected, but the exact danger is not mentioned here, so we can interpret that safe here means protection in general. (not from a deliberate danger) In the second example, safe place refers to a place where children won’t face any accidents or mishaps. In the third example, the safety of water refers to the cleanliness. Thus, in all three examples, the threat or danger is unintended. Safe also implies protection from potential harm.
What Does Secure Mean
Secure can be used as a verb or an adjective. It is derived from the Latin securus, meaning feeling no apprehension. If we look at the instances where secure is used in the general context, we can think of sentences like,
The country has to be secured against external threats.
He installed security cameras to secure the property.
You should always keep your bank details in a secure place.
Recent terrorist attacks have made us feel less secure.
In all the examples presented above, you can note that secure refers to the protection against deliberate harm or threats. In the third example, a Secure place refers to a place where information will not be stolen. So in all these examples, secure refers to the protection against crime and terrorism. Therefore, we can say that secure is the state of being protected from deliberates threats like crime and terrorism.
If we are talking about the protection of a place, information, etc. we always tend to use the word secure. However, keep in mind that both these words safe and secure are interchangeable in most occasions.
Difference Between Safe and Secure
Safe refers to the protection from unintended threats, mishaps or accidents.
Secure refers to the protection against deliberate threats like a crime.
Safe is a noun and an adjective.
Secure is a verb and an adjective.
We use safe in a more general sense.
We use secure when talking about the security of a place and information.