Forum Question: E-Mail Address – Should I Use My Name?

I read your document on password security and it is excellent. My family and I have all locked down all of our accounts with strong passwords.
I’m wondering what your thoughts are on using a real name as part of an e-mail address. For example, BillSmith@me.com. I have heard that it’s not a good idea to do this and that a handle type of a name is better like Zippy@me.com. I’m not the most creative guy in the world and I’m struggling to come up with a good handle type of a name for my @me.com account. I want to just use my name. What do you think?
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Tom Abbott

Comments: 3 Responses to “E-Mail Address – Should I Use My Name?”

    1/20/12 @ 9:37 am

    No, I don’t think so. Go ahead and use your name.
    Advantage: It clearly identifies you in a polite and professional way to whomever you are emailing. I’d hate to be in a situation to give a business contact (or potential employer) an email address like zippy@me.com — know what I mean?
    The only attacks you really are trying to protect against are people trying to steal email accounts in bulk. They use dictionary lists of common passwords to try to get in. They don’t want your email account, they just want “some” email accounts. If you have a strong password, they’ll skip you. They’ll have to.
    And they may be getting their email addresses from hacked lists or by scouring the web anyway. So they are not getting addresses by putting common names together, but by getting real email addresses from odd sources. So your FirstLast@me.com is as likely to appear as Zippy@me.com.
    But someone trying specifically to go after you will probably already know your email address, no matter what it is. So having an obscure one won’t help.

    Dave
    1/20/12 @ 10:42 pm

    I didn’t see where Tom was concerned about attacks.
    Don’t know what “primary” use of his account is, but BillSmith tells me the sender is a male. Just like my Macmost name Dave tells you I’m a guy. That’s nobody’s business when conducting commerce with persons/entities unknown to one-another.
    Most smart .com addresses truncate the person’s address like this:
    Mary Jones is mjones@whatever. Those who know the sender know who Mary is. Those who don’t might have a bias against dealing with an ignorant female. (Ladies – don’t send hate/burn mail to me – I’m on your side, and have witnessed this chauvinism too many numerous times.)
    tphillips- be it Tiffany or Tom works.

    jac mills
    1/21/12 @ 6:01 am

    I differ slightly with you on this Gary. I think using your real name helps anyone who is trying to steal identity through the internet. If they have your real name they have a good start. Using a variation seems to be reasonable and, I would think, smart. Or maybe I am being too cautious and think I am smart when I am not.

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