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Use real name? Afraid of being stalked/tracked down
Thread poster: Kelly Efird

Kelly Efird
Local time: 06:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 9, 2012

My real name isn't very common. In fact there are only four people, myself included, with this name in the entire US. So, I'm not exactly comfortable putting my real name out there for the world to know. I don't want to be stalked or tracked down. Am I being rediculous? What do people with unique names do about the preference for use of real names on here?

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:06
English to German
+ ...
Why would anyone want to stalk you? Jul 10, 2012

50 percent of this planet's population is female.

As long as you don't use the same name on dubious dating sites or post a certain kind of photos of yourself on wildly popular websites or as long as you are not the namesake of some serial killer, I don't see any problem.



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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:06
English to German
+ ...
Have you ever googled your user name? Jul 10, 2012

Apparently and unsurprisingly you are not the only one who ever picked a user name that involves "divina". I would want to drop this one immediately because it may fall into the wrong category...

Greetings,

Nicole Schnell


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:06
French to English
+ ...
Not sure I understand the logic... Jul 10, 2012

If you want to do business and you don't actually know of somebody who wishes to stalk you, then I suspect your strategy for not getting stalked in the future may have to be something other than trying to ensure that nobody ever discovers your name.

If the problem is that you believe that there is actually a specific person who you think will stalk you and put your life in danger if they track you down, then get advice from the police.


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Oksana Weiss  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:06
Member (2011)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
It's not real after all Jul 10, 2012

3divina wrote:
I don't want to be stalked or tracked down. Am I being rediculous? What do people with unique names do about the preference for use of real names on here?

Just remember, that it's not real world but virtual one. You do not come down a shabby alley at midnight. You are on a professional web-site. And if you are a linguist (which your presence here suggests), you will always find the way to talk you out of any embarassing situation which might occur here. Just think about such professional networks as linkedin, where everybody needs to use his real name if he wants to promote himself.
Well, my name is also not very usual in my country, and I was registered here under the pseudo, until I got a wise piece of advice to change it to my real name. And I started to get jobs after that. So if you are here to promote yourself, to get jobs, concentrate on it and do whatever is needed for it. After all, you do not come to an interview, hiding your documents behind your back and your face behind the mask and saying to HR shyly: "Just call me xyz12890$%^!".


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:06
English to German
+ ...
Honestly, I don't quite understand. Jul 10, 2012

Oksana Zoria wrote:

It's not real after all

Just remember, that it's not real world but virtual one.


This portal IS the real world. It consists of brick-and-mortar offices and established companies. It consists of professional translators with addresses, tax IDs, phone numbers, biographies and good standing in the business world. Otherwise they won't survive for long in this industry.

You do not come down a shabby alley at midnight. You are on a professional web-site. And if you are a linguist (which your presence here suggests), you will always find the way to talk you out of any embarassing situation which might occur here. Just think about such professional networks as linkedin, where everybody needs to use his real name if he wants to promote himself.


I don't understand this approach, either. Since when does an empty profile on this site turn anyone into a professional linguist?
Translators keep complaining about potential outsourcers who contact them via freebie web-based emails because nobody can track them down when it comes to payment. Why would any outsourcer entrust any virtual fantasy-named something-whoever with an empty profile who might never deliver the promised product on due-date with a serious, well-paid project?

Maybe it helps to become a paying member to realize what ProZ.com really is. Most definitely not a playground for hobbyists.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:06
English to German
+ ...
Totally agree Jul 10, 2012

Neil Coffey wrote:
If the problem is that you believe that there is actually a specific person who you think will stalk you and put your life in danger if they track you down, then get advice from the police.


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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:06
German to English
+ ...
Buses and streets Jul 10, 2012

Back in the days when most people did not have a computer at home, much less e-mail or Internet access, I gave much thought to this aspect.

I came to the conclusion that using anything but my real name was the equivalent of being too afraid of walking out into the street for fear of being knocked down by a bus. Silly, really.

Decades later, I feel the same way.

What you see it what you get!


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Kelly Efird
Local time: 06:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Okay, question? Jul 10, 2012

Can I change my username to my real name without having to make a new account?

I will become a paying member once I have the money to do so. I am more or less indigent.


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:06
Dutch to English
+ ...
I have a rare name too for the UK Jul 10, 2012

But use it all the time. I don't think I've been hassled much.

Take the plunge!

[Edited at 2012-07-10 06:42 GMT]


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BethanHasnip  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:06
German to English
unique name not a problem Jul 10, 2012

I too can tend to worry about these things but I am fairly sure I am the only person with my name and have never had any issues with using my real name anywhere.
Just make sure you do google yourself occasionally and check that what comes up reflects well on you.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:06
Hebrew to English
Paranoia Jul 10, 2012

I started another thread recently on this, which may be of interest to you:
http://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/225556-pseudonymsgood_bad_or_ugly-page3.html#1951894

...as far as I remember, fear of being stalked was not one of the justifications for using a pseudonym.

Even if you use your real name, you can still toggle the privacy settings to hide your contact details, address etc.

If you have Facebook then you have far more to fear from that (and I presume you don't use a pseudonym on there). I've heard plenty of Facebook stalker stories, I've never heard a ProZ.com one.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:06
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
This IS real! Jul 10, 2012

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Oksana Zoria wrote:

It's not real after all

Just remember, that it's not real world but virtual one.


This portal IS the real world. It consists of brick-and-mortar offices and established companies. It consists of professional translators with addresses, tax IDs, phone numbers, biographies and good standing in the business world. Otherwise they won't survive for long in this industry.


And you need to be real too, IMO. Real potential clients here won't want to deal with a completely unknown entity - they want a person they can call by their name. So, if you are looking for client contact here (not necessarily via the job board - there are other ways), I think you will find you are more successful using your real name. On the other hand, if you are simply here for help, or to help, with terminology, then there is no site requirement to reveal your true identity.

My name's dead common ;-(, but I was more or less forced to set up a Facebook account the other day, (something I've been resisting) and no way was I going to give my real name there, or anything else about me. But here is different. On the other hand, I would advise you never to reveal your email address, your postal address or your telephone number online, including here. That includes making sure they are not on the CV you upload here. Those details make it too easy for malevolent people to contact you.

But we aren't malevolent here are we? Nicole's a tad caustic at times, but I really don't think she's malevolent at heart!


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
Visibility Jul 10, 2012

Serious potential clients will likely want to see your CV, unless your services come recommended by a colleague or similar, so you will usually need to use your real name and details unless you want to come across as shifty or paranoid. In my scheme of things, a good business relation calls for a degree of trust, but maybe I'm just old-fashioned.

I use several nicknames, webmails and avatars online, but my CV is always on file on my PC (and on proz) with the appropriate basic info for when it's required.

[Edited at 2012-07-10 08:56 GMT]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:06
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
How unusual is an "unusual name"? Jul 10, 2012

Divina, I don't know what your real name is, of course, but you might be surprised to discover that it's not as unusual as you think if you Google it and see what turns up.
I have an unusual first name (which I don't use) and had an unusual maiden name. I didn't expect anyone to have that combination of names, but found to my amazement that there were several of me about the globe.
Best wishes,
Jenny (Jennifer, a very common name, is my middle name).


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