When signing up for a new account, creating a username may be a nightmare. Do you go for something funny? Memorable? Or maybe you opt for your actual name instead? After all, that’s what most people do. But is it safe? Does your username even matter? Well, it turns out it might. Let’s take a look at the most popular usernames and how they can impact your security.
The top 200 usernames
Most people choose their actual name for their username. Among the top usernames are names like David, Alex, Maria, Anna, or Marco. The number one username wasn’t a name though — with 875,562 hits, it was ยศกร, meaning ‘title’ in Thai. Notably, admin and user didn’t make the list of the most common usernames.
Why do usernames matter?
When it comes to securing your accounts, robust passwords should be the top priority. But you shouldn’t dismiss your username — if it’s easy to guess, you’re giving half of your credentials away.
The worst usernames are those that include personal information. If you’re using personal data to name your account, you may be helping cybercriminals build your profile. Let’s say you post a comment on a messaging board with a username Lisa1990 or SeattleJeremy. That’s enough for a hacker to start a social engineering attack.
How to create a secure username
So, how do you pick the best username for a secure account?
Don’t reuse your username on other accounts — this makes it easy to track you.
Don’t use your actual name.
Avoid creating a username that’s identical to your email address.
Don’t use personal information like your birth date, the city you’re from, or social security and ID numbers.
Don’t use usernames that are the same as your password or may hint at it.
Are you struggling with a name? Try a username generator.
Methodology: NordPass partnered up with a white-hat hacker, who compiled a report of the most popular usernames of all time. The hacker requested to stay anonymous.