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(also pen name, alias)

Pseudonym definition

A pseudonym is a fictitious name someone uses instead of their real name. Types of pseudonyms include stage names, pen names, nicknames, user names, and aliases. In the online world, people employ pseudonyms for various purposes. Typically, they wish to hide their real identities for more digital privacy.

Pros of using a pseudonym online

Increased online privacy. A pseudonym allows you to hide your real identity (to an extent) and separate your online presence from the rest of your life.

Protection from snoopers. Employers, governments, law enforcement, and other agencies that are interested in your reputation may look up the online activity associated with your real name. Using a pseudonym may keep some of your online activity inaccessible to them.

Decreased discrimination. Some studies have found that people may discriminate against certain types of names. Using a pseudonym online could help avoid or lessen discrimination based on gender, race, or religion.

Cons of using a pseudonym

No guarantee of anonymity. Even though you’re not using your real name, it is possible to find out your real identity in other ways.