A username is a name that uniquely identifies someone on a computer system. For example, a computer may be setup with multiple accounts, with different usernames for each account. Many websites allow users to choose a username so that they can customize their settings or set up an online account. For example, your bank may allow you to choose a username for accessing your banking information. You may need to choose a username in order to post messages to a certain message board on the Web. E-mail services, such as Hotmail require users to choose a username in order to use the service.
A username is almost always paired with a password. This username/password combination is referred to as a login, and is often required for users to log in to websites. For example, to access your e-mail via the Web, you are required to enter your username and password. Once you have logged in, your username may appear on the screen, but your password is kept secret. By keeping their password private, people can create secure accounts for various websites. Most usernames can contain letters and numbers, but no spaces. When you choose a username for an e-mail account, the part before the "@" is your username.