A username is a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that identifies a user in a computer system, online platform, or social network. The user can choose it, or a system can assign it. Either way, it serves the same purpose. Alongside a password, individuals utilize it to access their accounts online. Therefore, it is crucial for privacy and security because it prevents unauthorized access to personal data. It also helps establish recognizable identities or brands on the web.
Choosing a secure username
- Avoid using personal information. If you aren’t sure if the website you choose your username for is safe, you should avoid using your real name, address, date of birth, or any other information that third parties can easily link back to you.
- Never include your password. Considering that your username is visible to everyone, you don’t want to include sensitive information like a password, which is for your eyes only.
- Use different usernames for different accounts. If you have the same username for all of your accounts, and one of them gets hacked, all your other accounts are at risk.
- Utilize a username generator. Cybersecurity experts recommend using a generator if you run out of ideas for different usernames across your accounts.
- Combine numbers, letters, and special characters. Doing so makes it more difficult for hackers to guess your username.