How ‘Hackable’ Your Name is

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Source: behindthename.com

“How should I write your name?”

“Tiara”, “Joe”, “Clara”, “Alberto”, “Dorothy”, “Tiffany”

It scares me sometimes, how easy it is to reveal your name in a plastic cup when ordering beverage in Starbucks.

I heard it so many times in Indonesia: Nama adalah Doa, which literally means, “Name is (Mother’s and Father’s) Pray”. So, I must respect the freedom any parents have to name their children. Either by adopting from their surroundings (flowers, elements, or other symbolic things) or from wisdom. Some parents that I know generate the name combination uniquely in order to get recognition by their friends. However, I think it is necessary to remind new parents to consider the name for digital security purpose.

Maybe I am a little bit exaggerating the importance, but we are living on age of Internet. The need of internet is raising like a tide.  One identity can vastly spread to public only in one fingertip in order to access articles or to fill in survey. Many sophisticated safety methods such as fingerprint and face recognition have been introduced to keep the used of internet productive, yet safe. The traditional security methods like pin number and password are still being used. And I think, will never be removed. It is customize-able. Can be very secured, but also can be derivable.

Do I have evidence that name impacts on digital security?

Trust me, I am good at stalking.

OK, you may feel uncomfortable with me. But one more thing I can guarantee: I do not use this ‘skill’ to terrorize you. Instead, I will give you some advice on how to avoid me from stalking you.

Name Generated from Birthday is a Risky Idea

Julliana from July, Septian from September, Octaviani from October, May from May, April from April. When people make password on digital account, sometimes they are required to use number in the combination. Most of us derive the password as unique as possible, but easy to memorize. Which is very often to combine their initial with their birthday, the most basic combination. For example: if Samantha May’s birthday is 11th May, the combination can be Sm_115 or SM_115. As you can see, how easy it is to understand the pattern.

Name from other Language is Cute but Easy for Stalker to Google

If you own a name Dimitri, which is a Russian name, while living in Indonesia, it does not take many efforts to search your profile. We can search the profile of the name only by typing their name and their current location. When the name is less popular in the country, it could immediately direct you to the profile of that person. The idea is like searching a Sunflower in a Lavender hill.

Unique Pronunciation Name might be Good Idea

Eugene (read: you-gin), Siobhan (read: Chivon), or Djaka (read: Jaka). When you have name with unique pronunciation, appreciate it! You do not need to worry your name being exposed when ordering coffee in Starbucks. Your name will trick your surrounding’s ears, except when the bartender ask you to spell your name.

and Unisex name too!

Robin, Ariel, Daniel or Jodie. If you are not comfortable being viewed, maybe you can consider to own a unisex name. People are tend not to search your name if your name sounds too masculine or too feminine (depending on their sexual interest).

Popular Names maybe not unique, but surprisingly it is Safer Choice

Maria, Michelle, Putri, or Michael. The rationale is like the opposite of my second point. Remember when I mentioned about a Sunflower in a Lavender hill? Now you are the Lavender. You are protected from any predator.

I, myself, personally think that my name is quiet easy to trace. So now, the only thing I can do is filtering myself what to share on internet and making my own pattern on generating password. Again, it is important to carefully choosing name, but do not think too hard about it. Nama adalah Doa, anyway.

 

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