As is customary, the answer is "it depends." In general, if an attacker obtains access to your database, your security situation is so terrible that encrypting the passwords will most likely do you no good. However, if you can make the situation a little bit better by encrypting the usernames, then by all means do so.
The main advantage of encrypting usernames is that it allows you to verify whether or not a user is who they claim to be before allowing them access to certain features or data. For example, let's say I have a blog that allows users to create posts. If I didn't encrypt the usernames, an attacker could modify some malicious code and use it to steal login credentials for other users. They would be able to post spam blogs using those users' accounts without having to worry about password strength requirements or validation calls. By encrypting the usernames, however, I am making it more difficult for an attacker to modify their code to do this kind of thing.
There are two ways to go about encrypting usernames. You can either encrypt all of them or only the default one.
First and foremost, please keep in mind that most users do not encrypt (like you said) passwords in databases. When data is encrypted, whether symmetric or asymmetric, it may be decoded again. Thus, anyone with access to the raw data can decrypt it.
That being said, there are two methods for storing passwords in a database: hashed and encrypted. Hashed passwords use an algorithm to transform characters into an equivalent set of characters known as hashes. These hashes can be used as a test to see if a user's password matches with what was stored in the database. Encrypted passwords use a method called encryption where the password is transformed into code that cannot be read by humans but that can be processed by computers. In order for this code to be useful, it must be stored in the database along with the encrypted password. After retrieving this code, it can be compared with the code that is input by the user. If they match, then the user is allowed access to the resource.
It is important to note that hashed passwords can be decoded using various techniques. For example, when hashing passwords using the PHP function hash('sha512', $password), it is possible to recover the original password by passing the hashed value to the function unhash. This process is easy to perform because both functions use the same algorithm (sha512).
People who have access to the database will not know the user's password this way. People have a history of using the same password again, so if your database is accidently compromised, your organization isn't the one that compromises the user's other accounts in other businesses. Also, if the user changes their password, you'll still be able to recognize them.
Encryption provides an extra level of security for passwords. If someone gets access to the encryption key, they can decrypt the passwords and use them, but they won't be able to read the passwords themselves as plain text. Encryption keys are usually stored separately from the encrypted data, which makes them easier to protect.
Using encryption with passwords is more secure than storing passwords in clear text. This is because if someone steals the database file or server memory, they will not be able to read the passwords. They would need to actually get access to the encryption key too, which is usually done over a secure connection (such as HTTPS).
There are some cases where encryption cannot be used to save passwords. For example, if you are running out of space on your hard drive, then you will need to remove some files. If any of those files were password protected then removing them would render the content inside inaccessible. In this case, you would need to find another way to save the passwords.
Keeping passwords encrypted in the database and using unique salts for passwords reduces the chance of password cracking. Password cracking is the process of trying many combinations of characters until you find one that works. It is a long and tedious process and computers can do it much faster than people can type or speak words. Hash functions are used to make sure that passwords of different users don't match up, which would be evidence that they're all the same person.
There are two main types of hash functions: linear and iterated. A linear hash function takes input strings of a fixed length and returns a single output string of the same length. Examples of linear hash functions include MD5, SHA-1, and SHA-256. An iterated hash function takes an initial value called a salt. It then processes the salt and the password multiple times with a fast hashing algorithm (such as SHA-256) to produce the hash result. The goal with an iterated hash function is to make it difficult to predict what will produce a specific hash result. Because of this design, iterated hashes are better at preventing password cracking than linear hashes.
Linear hashes have some drawbacks when it comes to storage size and performance. They can only handle passwords of a certain length without losing information.
Improved defense against local assaults Passwords are saved in an encrypted file that is protected by a master password and, optionally, a key file, so an attacker with local access is unlikely to acquire your passwords.
Passwords are your computer's and personal information's first line of protection against unwanted access. The more secure your password, the more secure your computer will be against hackers and bad malware. Strong passwords should be used for all accounts on your computer. Avoid using common words as part of your password because they can be found in dictionary files that hackers can use to verify whether or not your password is valid.
Your password protects you from being logged out of your account. If someone knows your username or email address, they can make an account in your name with this information. They can then log into this new account from any computer without having to enter a password. This is called "hacking" or "cracking" your account.
Hackers may also try to get access to your computer by getting you to click on malicious links or open file attachments. These attacks can come in many forms: email, social media, web sites, phone calls, etc.
The best way to avoid hacking is to not give anyone else access to your computer. Do not share your password with anyone and always change your password if you become aware of any other person using your account.
If you allow another user to log into your account, they will need to provide a password to log in.