The Bitwarden Blog
What’s in a (User)name?
April 27, 2022
Passwords get all the attention. And naturally so - they’re ubiquitous in securing most of our digital world. They guard our online accounts, but are susceptible to compromise by hackers if improperly secured. They’re easy to use, but render us frustrated if lost or forgotten. Like it or not, passwords remain significant.
It’s no wonder the username ends up with little time on the digital stage. That’s changing - Bitwarden has just released a username generator to help you create secure and unique usernames for all your accounts and save them in a Bitwarden vault. Why? Because usernames aren’t simply your password’s sidekick, an underdeveloped afterthought. They play an equally important role in your digital life and deserve just as much attention and care as your passwords. Here’s how.
We often use the same username across multiple online platforms, services, and accounts. Unique usernames add an extra layer of security. Bitwarden enables you to instantly create unique usernames, which can help prevent hackers from finding your accounts among leaked data with a commonly reused username.
The most common usernames are - you guessed it - people’s names with maybe a birthdate attached. These personally identifiable credentials are usually visible during the login process and in product databases since most services default to only obfuscating passwords. Basically, it’s like showing the world the other half of your login information. Using Bitwarden to instantly create random usernames for select accounts makes it that much easier to guard your online identities.
TIP: Use Bitwarden to instantly create secure and unique usernames, handles, gamer tags, and more.
For example, within Reddit your ‘display name’ is what’s visible to the community and not the account name you used to sign up for the account.
Ever have a promotion land in your email box from a vendor you’ve never interacted with? By generating a unique ‘plus addressed email’ or ‘catch-all email’ where the email acts as the username for your accounts, you can have many different variations of your email address to provide to different people, sites, or mailing lists. (Check out the handy reference below on which email providers support this functionality) This gives you a better understanding of which services and vendors are emailing you to which address. For example, if the email you provided to one service appears in a solicitation from another service, you know someone is passing along your information.
An added bonus is less spam. As one Bitwarden community member points out, “Email addresses are prone to spam and abuse. If each service has its own mail address, the cause could be identified more easily and one could drop a mail address which attracted spam.”
|Email Provider||Plus addressing|
|AOL||No, but offers disposable emails|
|Tutanota||No, but offers aliases for premium users|
|Yahoo||No, but offers disposable emails|
|Hushmail||No, but offers aliases for premium users|
TIP: Use Bitwarden to instantly create new email addresses, whether you need a temporary one or a separate one to the same inbox.
Let’s say your ProtonMail username is SecurityFan, which means you receive email at SecurityFan@protonmail.com.
You can share and use any number of new distinct email addresses. All you have to do is append a special ProtonMail separator – the + (plus) sign—to your username, followed by any keyword or set of keywords (such as "batman begins") created by Bitwarden.
If you caught this blog title’s reference, you’ll hopefully agree that a (user)name isn’t just any other name as the ancient bard penned in the 16th century! Bitwarden continues to deliver new value to the Bitwarden community in the spirit of enabling security for all. These free tools - available to all Bitwarden users - can simplify, enhance, and protect your digital life. Sign up for a Bitwarden plan and try it today!
Bitwarden includes the ability to generate secure usernames and passwords in every plan within the Bitwarden desktop app, web client, and browser extensions. Generating usernames in mobile applications will appear in a future release.
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