Usernames are also touted as a person’s digital identity. Just like as you have your name which people use to recognize or communicate with you in your daily life, your username is an integral part of your digital life. Common usernames are dangerous for website security as they can be easily hackers.
Be it while playing online video games, chatting with your friends on Discord, having discussions on a forum or just your normal everyday app, we come across usernames daily.
According to dictionary.com a username is defined as a unique sequence of characters used to identify a user and allow access to a computer system, computer network, or online account. Usernames are generally unique words which hold some sort of meaning for the user.
People generally pick usernames which represent some aspect of their life or personality. As it’s an important part of one’s digital identity, a person will usually use one username across multiple platforms. But are such practices safe in today’s world?
Roel Schouwenberg, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab an anti-virus software maker says, “Having the same username everywhere will negatively impact the limited amount of anonymity there is on the Net. It will open people up to more directed attacks.”
Since having a single username across multiple usernames makes a person easily identifiable to their peers, this practice is heavily adopted. However, there are certain cons to this method which might outweigh the pros.
You might think, “What harm is there to people finding out my username? Isn’t that the whole point of usernames?” Well, you are right. Partially. Usernames should be something which can make you recognizable in the digital world. But choosing the right username is an important issue which is often side-lined.
Hackers are always on the lookout for the slightest fault or lapse in security which they can exploit for their own benefit. And usernames are extremely notorious for their flawed security.
Recently, hackers managed to launch a successful cyberattack on Snapchat servers and managed to getaway with the usernames and phone numbers of over 4.6 million users. Although no passwords or email address were leaked in this attack, this was still a devastating blow for Snapchat.
Users were suggested to change their passwords regardless. After conducting a study on the leaked usernames, it was concluded that people still use some of the most common usernames even today.
Nordpass recently conducted a study and found some of the most common usernames in the world that are still used. The top ones being ยศกร, David, Alex, Maria, Anna, Marco, Antonio, and other popular names. However some common usernames such as admin or user, were not able to crack even the top 200.
The reason why usernames are considered a plausible security exploit is because of the way people design them. The most common factors that people use when generating a username is personal information.
It can be a combination of their own names, initials, birthdays, important dates or pet names. If you have a username which consists some of these terms, then there’s a high chance you’re email address also comprises of these terms or your username itself.
Since, in terms of website security you can contact us.