Usually, your email address is kept confidential and only the administrator of the forum or blog has access to that information. Since protecting your privacy is paramount, you may want to consider creating an email, user name and password that is to be used only on public forums or blogs, rather than your personal email and password.
Your screen name will be clearly visible to all others when you post comments on the internet, and in short, to those that simply “lurk” around the internet. Keep this fact in mind.
Suggestions for screen names to maintain the best privacy: . In fact, do not use anything that looks like a real name. Why? Anonymity is important, and if you have come across a website where you would like to read and learn about for instance, stalking and psychopaths, privacy, dropping off the earth, and maybe perhaps contribute to such a site, you will want to protect your anonymity and avoid having any potential interactions with an actual stalker or psychopath.
The screen name is NOT a real name
DO NOT use any part of your email address as your screen name. Why? Consider this, if there is a stalker or psychopath in your life and he or she reads your posts and thinks you are talking about him or her, how easy would it be for him or her to simply take your screen name, add in your local ISP (Internet Service Provider) name and find you and harass you?
DO NOT use the same screen name as the one you use on other sites or social networking sites, such as Facebook or LinkedIn or MySpace or any other site that can be identified with you. Consider this: If you post details about your life on a social networking site or forum, and you post similar details about yourself on another site, how easy would it be for a psychopath or “stalker” to put two-and-two together?
You may not think this is problematic, but there are people who are in legal situations and in hiding from their aggressor. I had a situation of my own where my stalker printed out screenshots from the Facebook Walls of my family and friends and filed them in an affidavit in court.
Be cautious about what you post on social networking sites – it your friends and family have their profiles posted publicly (instead of only accessible by their friends) then anyone can read what you have posted to their profile, or vice versa. It’s best for everyone if we all follow this simple rule.
DO NOT use a screen name that is the name of a celebrity, trademark, or readily identifiable name that is famous or well known. For example, Oprah, JackieO, LadyDi, Madonna, Pink, AMA, CocaCola, etc… Firstly, you may not have the financial resources to deal with legal issues that may arise, and secondly, it’s not really fair to these people or organizations for you to use their highly-recognizable names when you clearly are NOT them.
DO NOT use a screen name that is inflammatory or off color. For example, A**hole, I-Will-Kill-Him, etc. This may sound strange, but you’d be surprised what weird names (ie: reflection of the person and their attitude) attract. Leave your anger at the door. You can be a positive influence to others and reflect that in your screen name too.
On picking the right screen name for you, here are some thoughts:
Look at other reader’s comments. You will find that each poster has developed a personality or persona amongst the other readers, and this is tied to their screen name identity. They may share details to provide support and sometimes advice along the way, or to ask questions in a forum, and others are usually grateful to have normal or good people on their site, contributing and receiving feedback which is purposeful and enlightening.
Many simply select a word or even a short phrase that captures who they feel they are or want to be. Some use phrases that describe their current situation and mindset; others their goal for a better life.
Give some time and careful thought and consideration to selecting your screen name. Remember, if you have it linked to an email that not all your personal contacts use, your privacy is much better protected.
Until next time… keep safe and sane…