Join Jess Stratton for an in-depth discussion in this video Choosing better usernames, part of Learning Computer Security and Internet Safety.
- It's always a good idea to be aware of what information you're putting online, and what it tells other people about you. So many people with the same name sign up for services that when picking a username or email address, you'll find yourself having to either come up with a very creative name, or put a string of numbers after a word. This video isn't going to tell you what to pick. There's no right or wrong, but just to be aware of what you're picking. Let's take some usernames here. I'm signing up for a Gmail account, and let's say, I wanted to try for Jessica0473@gmail.com.
I actually have no idea if this is real or not, I'm just picking something as an example, but when we have to add numbers to the end of our email address or a username, often times we pick something that's personal to us, so it's easy to remember. The problem is, how much information about us can be gleaned from one simple username? Take 'Jessica0473'. This number '0473' looks like a birth month and year. Anytime I login somewhere with this, or send someone an email, or post on a forum, I'm telling everyone that most likely, my name is Jessica and I was born on April of 1973.
In a nutshell, I'm a 41 year old female. My entire demographic is contained in this one email address. Again, there's no right or a wrong, and this '0473' may not be a birthdate. My name is in my email address, personally, but the numbers after it are meaningful to me in a non-demographic or identifying way. So, be aware when you sign up for a username. Exactly, what numbers you're using and what it says about you.
- Installing updates
- Using antivirus software and protecting against viruses
- Enabling Windows Firewall
- Using password-management software
- Encrypting files that contain sensitive data
- Securing your router and protecting the SSID
- Understanding the signs of a secure website
- Checking settings for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari
- Unsubscribing from email subscriptions
- Reviewing site privacy settings
- Browsing on a public computer
- Understanding cookies
- Protecting other people's names and locations
- Fact-checking email warnings