You may have a solid password but still, end up being a target for hackers. In most cases, they succeed. Most people who report being hacked and had strong passwords often reuse usernames. When you Google someone’s name, you can get information such as the usernames they use for various websites.
People tend to use the same one for everything. Anyone can tell where you service your vehicle, where you live, the content you consume online, and so on.
Many people believe that if someone gets hacked, it is a case of weak passwords. However, if you have a strong one and reuse it, you are equally at risk.
If you look keenly into the issue, you realize that sometimes it is not even about the strength or reusing of the passwords but rather usernames. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you need to use a unique one.
Usernames are Public Information
Unlike passwords, anyone can get a hold of usernames. They can then go ahead and build a full profile about you to understand who you are. This kind of information can be used for very many purposes.
Some companies use it for data mining to improve their product offering and others use it for malicious reasons such as identity theft.
Study shows that 42% of identity theft happens by cross-referencing usernames. Cybercriminals are brilliant techie people; therefore, they can capture information from groups and social media sites you belong to.
Some can even access your browser history. This data leads to your networking sites, which gives them everything they need, including clues as to what your password is.
Why Usernames should be Unique
Unless you are a brand as a person and you need to match everything to who you are, then there is no need to reuse a username. It is sure to cause future trouble.
It is very worrying to find that by Googling your name, someone can piece together your life, including pictures connected to your accounts.
When you use a username that is not your real name, it may seem anonymous at first, but over time, you begin leaving breadcrumbs about who you are.
The best advice would be to create a unique username for each account you create for different websites. They should be disposable, like your passwords.
How to Create Unique Usernames
The most straightforward way to create unique usernames without bursting your brain cells is through using a password manager.
Most of them like NordPass have in-built passphrase generators. Combining two or three words creates good usernames. You can come up with amusing ones if you like or be creative with them and come up with exciting names.
With the dawn of the internet, cybersecurity is something everyone should take seriously. Hackers do not only cause financial damage but can also damage your reputation and your social life. Better safe than sorry.