Reasons to Make a Facebook Alias
By Anthony Oster
Social media websites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have changed the way that people communicate, toward friends, family and the world at large. While many people consider the connections created by Facebook to be a genuinely positive thing, many do not consider the ramifications that Facebook can create on your digital footprint. With employers, universities and even local law enforcement beginning to monitor Facebook and other social media venues, creating an Facebook alias is just one way to protect your name and image.
Creating an Alias
To create an alias, you must first decide how you will be portrayed online. To protect your identity, your alias should not include your last name, and your profile photos should not give away your identity. While Facebook prohibits the creation of multiple user accounts, one loophole to this rule is the creation of a Facebook Page, on which your alias can post images and status updates to any potential followers.
Employers, Universities & Background Checks
While background checks used to involve lengthy and costly procedures, the advent of Facebook has given potential employers and universities the ability to perform a pseudo-background check with a simple search-engine query. Once queried, any public posts, comments and photos uploaded to Facebook may be viewable by outside organizations and authorities.
Facebook and the Law
Just as universities and employers may make hiring decisions based on information publicly posted to Facebook profiles, several law enforcement agencies have taken to the Internet looking for clues to unlawful activity. Though posting illicit material under an alias is still unlawful, knowing that authorities read and scan social media to look for trends may cause some people to rethink having an official presence online.
Choosing What to Post
The underlying theme behind a Facebook alias is controlling what the public sees of your digital presence. When in doubt, the best alias is that of silence. What isn't posted isn't read, and what isn't uploaded isn't seen. With tools like Google Image Search and the basics of deductive reasoning, even the best-veiled Facebook alias can be deciphered.
Anthony Oster is a licensed professional counselor who earned his Master of Science in counseling psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has served as a writer and lead video editor for a small, South Louisiana-based video production company since 2007. Oster is the co-owner of a professional photography business and advises the owner on hardware and software acquisitions for the company.