How to Choose an Alias

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In the age of online personas, finding just the right screen name is a common concern. There are several things to consider before you choose an alias. You'll want to avoid picking a name that you might regret later. Before jumping into an online role, give the process some thought, and choose carefully.

  • Decide what you'll use the alias for. If you're offering professional services on the Internet, a professional-sounding alias is in order. The difference between obtaining a new client and having the client look elsewhere can be as simple as choosing a professional name such as, "GraphicArtist."

  • Prepare for everyone in the real world to find out your screen name. If you're joining a Web forum your coworkers or family members might join at a later date, choose an alias that won't embarrass you.

  • Consider a name that suits your personality. It helps when meeting people online. You instantly create a happy impression with a cheery name. Be careful saddling yourself with negative-sounding names because they can backfire.

  • Incorporate your interests into your alias. These types of names tell people what you're into and can form camaraderie among other enthusiasts.

  • Choose a nondescript name if you're new to the Internet and uncomfortable giving out information. A generic name, such as "abc123," gets you online without compromising your identity in any way.

  • Use a screen name generator if you're really out of ideas. With minimal information, the program generates potential screen names. Even if you don't like the choices, it can spark your imagination.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you love a screen name that's unavailable, try alternate versions of it.
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