Standard practice in the workplace appears to be using your full name as your email address. This presents some privacy concerns to me.

Even though we all grew up being told it's advisable to use a pseudonym online, Is it bad practice to use your real name online? , its commonly accepted that your full name will be used for everything you do at work, for example, email a bunch of vendors or open support tickets with external parties. Even if we are very careful, chances are another employee with accidentally and frequently include our email address and name in emails to outside parties. If you work on purchasing or have a corporate credit card, your name gets attached to everything you buy for the company (giving your name to buy with a credit card could be a separate discussion altogether)

What is the solution to this problem? Is it common practice to use aliases in the workplace, especially to deal with external vendors? Do people give HR an obfuscated/shorted name when they start working to somewhat lessen this problem?

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    It's also common practice to use your name when calling somebody, use your name on business cards etc. Would you do serious business with somebody who obviously hides himself behind some pseudonym? Business requires trust relationships and knowing the other by name is helpful in that. – Steffen Ullrich Apr 21 '16 at 19:34
  • What Steffen says makes sense, but here's another view on the situation. If my name was Matthew Smith, and my email contained my first and last name, how many Matt Smiths do you think there are? I can think of 3 Matt Smiths personally, but if you do that with any name, a very small percentage is going to be unique. What they want is PII (Personally Identifiable Information) that allows them to build up a sort of profile, and that can be used against you in different ways (I.E. identity theft). So I would suggest working harder to protect your PII altogether, and not pieces of it. – dakre18 Apr 21 '16 at 20:06
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    Could you clarify what the problem you are looking for a solution to is? What are the actual adverse effects you are trying to avoid? – Anders Apr 21 '16 at 20:22
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    I agree that serious business deals need to work with real names, but that's usually for customer-facing salespeople - not everyone needs that level of contact. If you look at customer service people they have a layer of anonymity by only providing you with their first name and employee number. Some people fall in between these two extremes. I worked in the purchasing deparment and I gave my full name and email address to hundreds of companies, sometimes to do less 100$ of business or to file a tech support question. It's just an unnecessary level of exposure for gaining nothing in return. – cloneman Apr 21 '16 at 23:03
  • It's also something of a security / privacy issue from the standpoint that people can harvest the names of many people from a corporation because of the general practice of using these names in our e-mail addresses. Personally it wouldn't bother me to see e-mails like JD63@company.com and I'm ok with that being John Doe's official e-mail. I've always looked at the first.last@company.com as sort of a vanity e-mail thing... – Trey Blalock Apr 21 '16 at 23:36

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