How many pseudonymity profiles does everyone have? And how many should a begginner need?

pseudonymity profiles:

What should i use pseudonymity profiles for and how many are recommended?, i don’t really have much to say as it’s also in the topic.

Thanks for taking the time to help : )

As always, this depends on your threat model, and to a lesser extent your definition of “pseudonymous” . For example, I don’t have any specifically, but I have a few accounts under fake names and/or not tied to anything else in my life. And this works fine for me.

For example: this profile is quite clearly not under my actual name. Does that make it pseudonymous? I mean, sort of. But since I don’t pretend that it is - my parents clearly did not name me Agreeably_Icy - there’s clearly no attempted deception there.

Honestly pseudonymity gets too much of a hype in my opinion. The vast majority of people gain no substantial benefit from it, and frankly in a practical sense it’s little different from what I’m doing with this account.

Focus instead on trying to identify what your threat model is, where your potential threats are, and act (proportionately to the severity) accordingly to mitigate the threats. That’s more important.

You’re not Edward Snowden. Don’t try to act like you are, you’ll just burn out and accomplish nothing except a lot of stress and anxiety.

I have one for each ‘category’ of website. For example, one for gaming, one for social media, etc

1 Like

For most threat models, just use a different username for every account that doesn’t contain your real name or personal information (some password managers have username generators built-in). You can use the same pseudonym for multiple accounts if you want them to be tied together (e.g. you want your Discord username to be the same as your Steam username so your gaming friends can find you). If you want to go a step further, generate a unique email address with a shared domain with an email aliasing service for each pseudonym and avoid connecting your phone number or billing details with a pseudonymous account needlessly.

If your threat model is trying to account for persistent stalkers, targeted hacking, law enforcement, etc. you’d have to go much further than this, but that’s beyond what most people need.

1 Like

I usually think of pseudonymity more like just maintaining separate, compartmentalized identities for the different things I do in life.

In real life and in anything important that will affect my real life that no one else should be accessing but me, like banking, shopping, or outward facing email address, I use my real name.

For online communities where the threat of doxxing or invasions of privacy are extremely possible, there is no way I’m going to engage in those communities and expose my real name to be exploited and harassed, so I use an alias - just a regular username that doesn’t really tie anything back to me. Unless you’re using Facebook or something where part of what you’re going for is being found by friends and family, I think lots of folks know to just use a separate username.

The number one rule for compartmentalizing is to not cross the streams. Try as much as possible to not mention anything under one identity that can be linked back to another identity. So when I’m at a party, I may mention that I game, but I’ll avoid giving specifics about certain communities I play in unless I know I can trust the person and better explain what I’m trying to do. If I’m MLG gaming, I’m not going to mention how old I am, or where I live, or what school I go to. My real life is separate from my gaming stuff.

I think most folks have a rough idea to do this anyway. The main place you have to worry about this is primarily between real life and online spaces, so additional aliases/usernames/identities are a matter of your specific case. For example, I only use InternetGhost on this forum because I don’t want IRL or my gaming people to be able to trace back to any details I share about myself here.

Then from a tech standpoint you just have to be consistent. Pick your username. Now keep everything you plan on doing with that identity under that username. I have a Minecraft account, so my associated Discord, email, Reddit, Google accounts etc all use that same name. I don’t mind that all of those accounts can be related together. What I don’t want is to accidentally use something that has my real name. Also, you only need to make as many accounts as you actually need.

1 Like

I have a rule, that if it’s not absolutely necessary for the service have my real data - I don’t give it to them. Usually I create random name and random email.

For example. I want to register to website X. I go to simple login and it offers me something like ______.smith@domain.com, so I create john.smith@domain.com and register to the same name, to be consistent :slightly_smiling_face:

I don’t try to be “pseudoanonymous” per se, but I always ask the question “Do they really need my real name, email, phone?” And unless it’s a bank, govermental, social or medical institution, the answer is almost always “no”.

2 Likes

Personally, if a service/shop does not need my identity, I won’t give it. I have not, nor have I ever given my name on here, Discord, Reddit, and so on. My irl identity is separate from those services. When I need to sign up to a new thing, I use a username generator. Several can be found online, and there’s one bundled with Bitwarden. The good thing about using a manager, like Bitwarden, is that I do not need to remember my username, because the password manager will know it for me. Doing it this way doesn’t just add extra privacy, but also extra security.

2 Likes