It was the year that gave us Titanic, MmmBop, and a clear winner at the forefront of a brand new technology: AOL Instant Messenger.
The tens of millions of unique users were each identified by their screen names — and there were certain unspoken rules (and clear cyber safety recommendations) about what was considered a “good” screen name.
References to sports teams, hobbies, favorite animals, and so on were all fair game.
And if you could throw in a few numbers or symbols to set yourself apart, even better.
But the one thing people definitely did NOT use in their screen names?
Their real names.
Now, a lot has changed since 1997, including the fact that many instant messaging and social media services require real names — but how many of us are using them on platforms that don’t simply out of habit?
Today I want to give you a challenge to take a look at how you’re showing up online and ask yourself:
Are the screen names and handles I’ve chosen really keeping my info secure?
Feel free to tag a friend who could use this tip, too!