Jargon Busting No. 19 – Username

Twitter sign up page

When you sign up for an online account you will need to provide a user name.  This name is likely to be the name of your account, and the name that will be displayed to others online.

Facebook terms of use require you to use your real name but most online services don’t, in fact some suggest that you don’t use your real name.

And of course you will need to select a username for your email address.  Usernames and email addresses are usually all lower case and between 6-14 characters.

Remember your username is your ‘face’ to the online world so make sure your username or email address you will use for work or study won’t embarrass you or other people.

Here are a few things to remember when choosing your username:

  • Choose something that is easy to remember
  • Choose something that is easy to tell other people, especially over the phone
  • Avoid tricky spelling, as it is too easy for other people to get wrong  
  • For some online accounts, such as online games, it can be better to remain anonymous
  • Avoid including identifying information such as your date of birth

Children and young people should:

  • Avoid identifying information such as name, suburb, school or date of birth
  • Avoid suggestive words
  • Keep it gender neutral

It can be fun choosing your username, and if you find a good one you really like you can then use it again on other online services. This will, if you want, help you create your online identity and that Dear Reader is tomorrow’s post.  

2 thoughts on “Jargon Busting No. 19 – Username

  1. Tips that I provide people include:

    If you must include a birthday, use a fake one that you can remember – eg 31 December 1970 or 11 November (Remembrance Day) 1990

    Don’t use the same username that you have for other online activities if you want to keep them separate (eg your Facebook, Google, Twitter accounts), If you use the same username for everything, then you’re easier to trace online.

    If you don’t want to give your real name, use a pseudonym, but make sure it’s one you can remember – perhaps your first and maiden name, or your pet’s name. Be careful what you use. I once decide to use my first pet’s name with the name of the street I lived in when I was born, but realised that “Midnight Station” wasn’t, perhaps, the kind of image I wanted to portray online! LOL

    • Midnight Station, I think it suits you 😉

      But you do made some good points. People assume that you have to be honest online except when you are providing official information but you don’t its your information and you can choose how you use it.

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