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Profile Pen Name - Protect Your E-Image - Cyber Safety

Updated on February 2, 2015

The Internet is a wonderful new world. Hub Pages is one of my favorite spots in this world. As a new author here (4 months at this time), I tried many things - I love experimenting. I also appreciate it when life slaps me - and tells me pointblank "you goofed!" So with that I must share with you my failed experiment.

I started writing here on Hub Pages under my real name. Many of my Hubbers will remember (at least I hope I was memorable!) my name and personal photo. I have for many years run Google alerts on my name. Recently my real name showed up with links to other websites linking to pornographic photos. So quickly I took down my real name here on Hub Pages. To Hub Pages credit - they assisted within hours! Hub Pages response was wonderful. Remember this was my mistake. "You cannot change your Profile Name!"

Internet Image - What Others Se

Your Internet Image is What Others See from Around the World Diagram in Blue Circle
Your Internet Image is What Others See from Around the World Diagram in Blue Circle | Source

Cyber Safety for Your Family Castle

Photo of elegant living room with fireplace and crystal chandelier - your elegant brand
Photo of elegant living room with fireplace and crystal chandelier - your elegant brand

3 Cyber Safety Tips for You and Your Family

So here I am as "GmaGoldie" with a couple of bumps and bruises - nothing permanent but I wanted to share with you my lessons learned.

Cyber Safety Tip#1 - Always Run Google Alerts on your Real Name and on Your Pen Names

This ensures you know where your identity and professional impact is hitting. If you see something on Twitter for a name you don't use on Twitter - follow that link and see exactly where that leads. This is how I discover my real name was out on Twitter.

Cyber Safety Tip#2 - Protect Your Real Name - Use a Pen Name

Just as we have learned that we cannot post children's photos out on the Internet, just as we have learned that Face book now has multiple security levels (out of necessity), so too, we must guard our real name.

Citizen writers who offer any remote type of opinion must safeguard their own name. Pen names have worked well for centuries and that rule translates well to our electronic age.

Google Keywords

Reminder Google run on keywords, your pen name if attributed directly to your target market will help you in the page rankings.

Cyber Safety Tip#3 - Females Take Special Care with Pen Name and Profile Name

When the Internet was just coming of age, I started to Google my maiden name. My Mother gave me a great name and often I have had people ask if "Kelly Kline" was a stage name. Well, Kelly Kline was my real biological name given to me at birth. Funny story, my Grandmother lived in a time when prejudice was rampant and she felt strongly skeletons need to remain in the closet. I share this with you for your benefit. My life lessons, I pray will not be your life lessons. Anyway when Mom named me, she was appalled - she stated - oh, my people will now know we are Irish! Mom didn't even know we were part Irish! Mom and Grandfather was progressive/ahead of their time/non-discriminatory - whatever - they liked the name and so I was Kelly Kline for many years.

Three Cyber Safety "Pen/Profile Name" Takeaways - Your Action Plan for Internet Safety

I share this you so that you might learn. Hear the life lessons, take note, take head, take care of that legal name given to you.

Knowledge is power. I simply wish to empower you and motivate you to:

  1. Google your name, both your real name and your pen name,
  2. Set up weekly Google alerts for your pen/profile name and
  3. Thoroughly review anything that looks unusual.

PS If you run a Google check on my maiden name "Kelly Kline" you will have millions of photos and videos - do not open them - the majority of these photographs are all pornographic. They are NOT me! For a point of reference," the Kelly Kline the American pornographic actress
" is young enough to be my daughter. I "first" had that name two decades beforehand! But nonetheless the Internet volume rules not the age of the person!

PSS I have lost all my followers, Hub Pages was able to retain my articles. If you could kindly re-connect with me - I would greatly appreciate it!

Profile Pen Name Dangers

Poster of a Young Man with the Text "You Don't Get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies"
Poster of a Young Man with the Text "You Don't Get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies" | Source

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    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      5 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Hi Aerie-el,

      I sincerely apologize. Most certainly, as soon as I could I have correct this error on my part. Thank you for reporting this to me so graciously. Your blog is stunning. I look forward to visiting. I am very happy to have found you.

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      kie blake

      You have a great day! Protect your e-image and stay safe in our new world called cyberspace.

    • profile image

      kie blake 

      6 years ago

      hello-have a nice day.

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin


      You are right - this information should be required reading for everyone who uses the Internet. Your online identity needs to be private to some degree. Your address has to be private. Gladly and sadly the Internet offers everyone - complete transparency. Learning to manage this valuable tool is a challenge for every individual, every family member.

      I feel strongly family members must set Google Alerts to see what is out there under their name.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing.

    • akune profile image


      7 years ago from Surrey, England, United Kingdom

      Thank you for sharing this. Others should know about this as well.

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      St. Cyrian,

      Thank you so much for sharing your personal story. We need to be reminded that this does happen and it is our job to be careful.

      You make a very important point - you don't know you have a stalker until it is too late.

      The fine balance of being open and honest with your readers and viewers MUST be tempered with the need for your personal safety and the safety of your family.

      Thank you so much for sharing.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have had to stop writing (books, articles, web sites) under my real name recently. I spent two weeks taking down my web sites and pulling my author's and professional images down.

      I am a freelance writer, copywriter and web designer. I recently had a call from a construction company looking for web design - not unusual. They guy seemed to know a lot about his business and we discussed what kind of design he was looking for. He said he was ready to do it. I had already sent a bid, so I sent an invoice - all with my mailing address on it (blue collar types still use conventional mail and that's fine).

      This guy gave some red flags when he said he had been looking at pictures of me online. Then he said something about me being "cute." He asked for my address, again. I gave him my mailing address, again, although I reminded him it was on the invoice.

      He said he was going to send a disc of images for the web site by snail mail... it never came... The whole thing was about this guy seeing my professional photo (real estate photo or author image - not porno images or something like that- right!?) online and him trying to figure out where I live!

      How terrifying is that! What is he planning to do once he finds me??? Not to mention, what a big waste of my time sending a bid to a pervert!

      Plus, I have a local stalker - a guy I used to work with who will apparently is spending a lot of time looking me up on-line!

      So, forget what the marketers tell you about branding yourself, putting your name and a face out there. It can get you KILLED!

      Plus, I've had to take all my web sites down!

      I am being very careful now.

      I wish there was a better way to warn people! There are so many perverts and criminals out there and it's worse than ever now. They're just circling like sharks - and you don't even know you've got a stalker until it's too late!

      Protect yourselves. Never, ever use your real name - get a professional name and use that. If you're a woman, don't put your photo online - ever! If you're a writer, by all means, use a pen name.

      Furthermore - for security reasons, take great care on LinkedIn and Facebook! Also, watch Bukisa (yes, the writing site) and don't use your real name or other info. at Twitter. This info. is being harvested (a better word is stolen) by class reunion, networking and phone directory/person look-up sites.

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Joyce F,

      The Google Alerts are a must in today's cyber world. I have them set for family members too - the mom in me protecting the nest!

    • Joyce F profile image

      Joyce F 

      8 years ago from USA

      Thank you for the heads up about profile names and writing under your own name. I'm setting up the Google alerts today.

    • sdy53 profile image


      8 years ago

      It is rather depressing that we have to use a Pen Name to protect ourselves, but it is a sad necessity given the volume of people we are exposing ourselves to.

      The sense of community is also marginally diminished here at Hub Pages since one has to be circumspect about saying anything "overly identifying". That leads to some reduction in the intimacy we could all enjoy if we had no concerns on protecting our identity.

      Gracias for your article. Valuable info for any hubber who had the good fortune to read it.

      BTW no way hubber should be a misspell here :)

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin


      Please don't forget to set up alerts to automate the process.

      Thank you for stopping by and contributing.

    • mikicagle profile image


      8 years ago from Oklahoma

      Some awfully good advice. I am off to google myself now.

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Dream On,

      It is important information to consider. The Internet is a wonderful place and Hub Pages is managed very well but even Hub Pages have no control over the outside world. The higher the exposure level, the higher the possible problems.

      My Mother if she were alive would be so upset with my real name that she gave me and how it is being used on the Internet. I cannot compete with a porn star and I cannot afford people to confuse me.

      So then I use my married name here on Hub Pages and links to porn and made! So that is the reason for the moniker of GmaGoldie.

      Someday I wish to use my own name - now it would be my married now but I must be very careful and plan and watch. The Google alerts are an absolute necessity.

      Thank you for words of praise - greatly appreciate it.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      8 years ago

      Incredible hub and a lot of new information I have to consider.Thanks for the tips.

    • gracenotes profile image


      8 years ago from North Texas

      Wonderful hub, GmaGoldie. Prudent, sensible advice that I have followed since my first day at HubPages.

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      9 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin


      Thank you for sharing! Cyber-stalker - never even thought about that one! Wow! Avoiding that worry factor is important! Trust is built with safety in mind - even more so on the Internet.

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 

      9 years ago from Sydney

      Great tip about Google Alerts - I hadn't thought of that. Thanks!

    • Sara Tonyn profile image

      Sara Tonyn 

      9 years ago from Ohio, the Buckeye State

      Great hub and great advice. I had a cyber-stalker once and that was enough to convince me not to post personal info on the Internet. Now I write under a pen name (several in fact) and don't post a pic. It saves me a lot of headaches, worry, wonder, time and energy. :)

    • apricot profile image

      Bengali Bratisha 

      9 years ago from Italy

      Very interesting!! Thanks so much for that - I would never ever have considered the risks of using a name. Very useful hub!

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      9 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin


      Your high praise is greatly appreciated. I love your travel Hubs! Paris and Milan are on my radar - allot because of you. I enjoy your writing style. Thank you for dropping by.

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      9 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin


      Thank you for your high praise. I greatly enjoy your Hubs. Visiting Italy is on my radar - you are inspiring!

    • Tiptopcat profile image

      Victoria Virgo 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      This is an excellent hub and everyone should be made aware of the advice you provide.

      Thanks so much for sharing.

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      9 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin


      Great question, yes, I did change my real photo - and then I found this video of why not to post your real photo which I included as the first video on my latest Hub

      I have my real photo all over the place - still trying to edit my real name and my real photo. The use of your real name and your photo should be fairly limited use if you are an active writer.

      LinkedIn must be real - real name, real photo. I know all the blog sites encourage real photos - I am convinced that is not good advise. I have seen a number of real photos "morphed" very elegantly. So you can see the person but not really. One of the best I have seen is Fatman911 - he has a great profile photo -

      The Hub Pages community is fun with all the different biographies and geographies and profile photos. Partial real photos can be really effective too - check out and another of my favorites is

      Real photos that don't fully disclose your identity are inventive and fun and safe too!

    • nadp profile image


      9 years ago from WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

      This is good advice - I never thought of it! You said something about not using your real picture. Did you change that also?

    • Jeffrey Neal profile image

      Jeffrey Neal 

      9 years ago from Tennessee

      Good hub, and good reminders to everyone to monitor their online presence! I am here under a pen name with components of my real name, but I may never tell. ;)

    • 11Lucima profile image


      9 years ago

      Wow so sorry to hear that. Its a good thing I found this article before I used my real name. Take care and good luck collecting new followers.

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 

      9 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      Hy GmaGoldie: I am taking careful note of your experience, and it's good sound advice for us ladies. Thankyou!

    • KaylaJay profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for the advice!!

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      9 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Some things work for our real name - most unfortunately don't. Old friends and family tried and true - no problem - ex's, jealousy - just have to be careful. I am hopeful I helped one person. Thank you very much for sharing and stopping by.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for the tip.. I will have to become more pc savey and learn up on how to do these things to protect myself for the attacks. Thank you so much for the tips.

    • VioletSun profile image


      9 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Goldie: I was having this discussion with a new hubber who has been attacked by her ex's family and sent her the link to your hub. I had an individual that was obsessed with me for years find me recently through my real name, so I made adjustments.

      Thanks for the tips, had no idea I could get google alerts!

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      9 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      You have perfect timing! You are fine - you still have the option of posting any religious or philosophical Hubs or comments on a Hub separate anonymous account. Just take care each step and you will be fine.

    • christryon profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi Goldie,

      I wish I had read this post BEFORE I signed up on Saturday night. Right now, I am using my real photo and name. So far, I have not had much trouble. Then again, I am still relatively new to this "internet marketing" venue. Perhaps, I should consider changing? What do you think?

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      9 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      MyWebs and JamaGenee,

      I too have chosen a fake birthdate - I don't mind the year - the real b-day - way too personal.

      @MyWebbs - congratulations on the rankings - pat yourself on the back for a job well done - and it is a huge achievement on the world wide web.

      @JamaGenee - great analogy! I tried my real name - works for somethings and for some people - not me! Luckily Hub Pages was understanding so I didn't loose my body of work - I lost my followers but that is the fun part about Hub Pages - meeting and making friends.

      Thanks so much for sharing!

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      MyWebs, I happen to know *no one else in the entire world* shares my real name. None! Therefore I use an avatar and a pen name on HP and on my blogs; also a fake birth date on sites that require one for registration. My reply to those naïve souls who claim such precautions are unnecessary: "Would you hand a complete stranger your wallet or whatever holds your drivers license and credit cards?". Of course not!

    • MyWebs profile image

      Anthony Goodley 

      9 years ago from Sheridan, WY

      You know the world is full of people who share the same name. Not much you can do about that. You can either use a pen name or outrank them on the Search Engines. I chose the later.

      Personally I have tried to make a name for myself online using my real name. If you were to Google it you would find 9 out of 10 on page one, plus the Google profile near the bottom, point to things I am associated with. The odd one out that's not me is a guy on Facebook with the same name.

      A while back I decided that if anyone ever wanted to find me I would make it easy for them. It took me a while to overcome a professional body builder with the same name, but I did. I don't see what it hurts as long as I am in control of what shows up, which I am.

      I am now working on ranking well with this nick, so far that's going well too.

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      9 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      The push to be real is great but it has to be balanced with safety. I appreciate the push but the safety side sadly is needed. Thank you for sharing!

    • RedElf profile image


      9 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much. Every so often, a thread shows up in the forum asking why use an avatar, and why use a pen name - I do both, and have since the 80s when I first started on the Internet. This hub should be required reading!

    • AEvans profile image


      9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Thank you so much for the information :)

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      9 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Dear Agvulpes,

      Thank you very much! I added an article for the 3 Simple Steps for Google Alerts - great question!

      Here is the link to the article.


    • agvulpes profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      GmaGoldie thanks for sharing this information. What happened to you must have been gut-wrenching.

      Can you let us know how to set up Google alerts? I do not have the faintest idea!

    • GmaGoldie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      9 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin


      It is scary - it took my breath away initially - had to sleep on it before I did anything.

      An ounce of prevention is the old saying - it still holds true to always be careful.

      I miss all of my connections but half the fun of Hub Pages is building those connection so onward ....

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Scary! Gave me something to consider, for sure!

    • Lady_E profile image


      9 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks for sharing - sorry to hear all the trouble you've been through and hope thing works out better for you this time.... under your new name.

      Best Wishes.


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