Security & Youth Online: Deanna's Story

Deanna's World is the creation of a 15-year-old Florida girl who design's Web pages professionally. We first interviewed Deanna online for "Growing Up Digital" in the fall of 1996. In October 1997, she told us that Deanna was, in fact, a pseudonym. Deanna explains how she runs an online business without anyone knowing her real name.

My online name is Deanna. The reason I go by a handle on the Internet is because security is very important to me. I am a high school student under the age of 18. I believe that it is wise not to go by my name for reasons of privacy.

When speaking to people from around the world you can be conversing with anyone, and you never know who they really are. However, that doesn't mean I've never told anyone my real name online. It is my opinion that there is not anything wrong with telling a close friend your real name. A close friend to me is someone you can confide in and rely on because you know them very well. I have actually met some of my friends from the Internet and they are some of the nicest people I know. At least three of my friends from school I first met online. Another friend from across the united States I have also had the chance to meet. That took place as a public event that included chaperones. Both of our families agreed it would be a nice thing to do and had no problem with it.

It is also possible to maintain a good business relationship online without revealing yourself. A close friend of mine and I have a business online. It has not been fully initiated yet because we both go to school and do not have the time we need to have to support it correctly. From what we have done already we know we can have the security we want and still conduct stable relationships with customers.

It is possible to communicate by e-mail without even telling them who you really are. As long as you do your job correctly and to their needs, it does not really matter. Although, remember that unless supplied with proof otherwise, we do not necessarily know who they are either. Customers may be billed anonymously by way of credit cards or by the use of a public post office box.

There are many opportunities on the Internet, and you do not have to use your real name to pursue them. I have listed only some of the reasons I use a pseudonym on the Web and still I find it possible to build stable business relationships.

Go to Deanna's World