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Getting to Know Technology: Username

When you sign up for any service online, you will be asked to create a username and a password. Today, we will be going over the purpose of a username and provide you with some best practices on how to create a username that works to your benefit.

The username is the name given to a user (or in some cases the computer or network) and is typically some abbreviation of the user’s, computer’s, or network’s name. An example would be if a user’s name is Brett Hanson, a strong username would be hansbr. It is strictly for identification purposes in the database that holds access information.

In some cases, a username might also simply be your email that you use to sign up for a service, or it may also be a display name for people to find you on a service. For example, the popular payment app Venmo uses the username as a way to send someone cash. Making your username easy to remember and share may be a benefit.

Other times, you may want to make your username something more unique and less identifiable. One such case would be in regard to your bank account username, which typically shouldn’t be guessable.

Combined with strong, unique passwords, unique usernames can add one small extra step to make it slightly harder to get into your accounts.

Username Best Practices
Coupled with your password, your username is important as it is essential for access. Since it’s the key to a user’s identity when trying to access data and applications, it is important to follow some best practices. These include:

  1. Pick a username you can remember – Most services have a password retrieval or reset tool attached, but not many have a tool that allows you to retrieve your identifier. Keep it simple.
  2. Never use personal information – Information like your social security number should never be used as a username or password. Your social security number is a coveted piece of information that, if attained, can cause you a lot of personal grief. Other sensitive information to avoid would be your date of birth, any contact information, or anything else you wouldn’t want a total stranger to have.
  3. Take into account the platform you are signing into – If you want an account to stay anonymous, for example, ensure that your username is something obscure or is set to not show.

We use usernames every day, so the more you are cognizant of how to best utilize them to your advantage, the better. For more great technology information contact us today at 305-944-7300.

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