Choosing a secure online ID

Choosing a secure online ID

Everyone using Yahoo! should create a Yahoo! ID - a unique username that gives access to the many products that Yahoo! offers. Even if you’re under 18, you need an ID.

Online IDs often say something about the people behind them, so think twice about what you’re willing to share with the world. For example, the name 'Butterflyfan' says that the person likes butterflies. No problem! That makes it harder for a random stranger to pick out one fan of butterflies from the millions of others online. But the name 'Butterflies4Jane' is less safe. It gives strangers your name, which they could use to start a conversation and pretend they know you.

Play it safe and leave out this personal information:

  • First and last name
  • Address
  • Phone numbers
  • Employer or school name
  • The names of family members

Instead, try IDs with these kinds of words:

  • Colours – blueskies123, purplepassion
  • Animals – leapinglizard, flyinghorse
  • Music – yourguitarhero, drummrfan1
  • Sports – footballchamp, swimrunbike
  • Games – vidgamesrule, chessking

Think twice about posting a photo of yourself as your online display image, icon, ID or profile image. Photos can clearly identify people and even their whereabouts. If you have a photo of yourself wearing your home team's shirt, for example, or sitting in a favourite restaurant, strangers could find you in real life. For extra caution, use an avatar as your online picture.

An avatar is a customised cartoon character that can represent you on your Yahoo! profile, Messenger and other Yahoo! sites. You can personalise your Yahoo! Avatar and use it when IMing (instant messaging), posting to message boards and doing other stuff online. By changing hairstyles, clothes, accessories and backgrounds, you can create your own persona instead of a real, identifiable photo. This helps you stay more anonymous, so not everyone can see into your online life.

Remember that you want an online ID and image that are not too revealing, but still fun to use on Yahoo!.

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