Worst of the Web/pseudonyms


QUESTION: Dear Dr. Nuccitelli,
Is it against the law to use a Hotmail with a pseudonym (or my inititals) instead of my real name if I make it pretty obvious that it is a pseudonym? if it is, how can I send people e-mails if I don't want them to know my real name?
Is it legal to send people friend requests on facebook telling them I don't want to add them; I just want to ask them a question to avoid the problem of paying a dollar in order for the message to be delivered to their inbox instead of "the other"n folder?

ANSWER: Dear Hasehm,

I apologize for the delay in getting back to you, but my email provider sometimes directs safe messages to my junk folder. As for your question, it is not against the law to use a pseudonym or any name for an email address. In fact, it is highly recommended to always use them. From a cyber security and internet safety standpoint, it is suggested to have an email address that is nameless, genderless and ageless. The less personal information the better. In cyberspace, cyber criminals look for any details about a person in order to compile enough data to steal from them.

Regarding Facebook, it is legal to send people friend requests on facebook telling them you don't want to add them and just want to ask them a question. Although it is legal, some people may not respond to your question or even accept questions from others who are not in the "friends" list. I'm not sure what you mean about "avoid the problem of paying a dollar". Facebook and all communication exchanges are free and do not cost money. Given you reside in a country outside of the USA, I would read your Facebook Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy to find out more.

Dr. Nuccitelli     

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Perhaps I should have been clearer in regards to the first question. I am not asking whether it is illegal to set-up an e-mail as  if my name is not mark Tom. what I am asking is this: when I have to fill the first and last name section, can I write Mark Tom if it is not my name? in other words, people will get an e-mail from Mark Tom even though the sender's real name is not mark tom.

In regards to fb, please see

Dear Hasehm,

Please forgive me if I'm not answering your question as requested. lol...Let me try again. It is not illegal to use any name you wish in your sign up or as your email address. For the vast majority of email providers I have dealt with, most of them require you to give an email address they send an activation link or code that you must click on or copy the code to begin using the new email address. To simplify my response, 95% of anything you obtain, exchange or disseminate in cyberspace can be traced back to you with the right technology.

As for fb, I guess my not knowing what you meant in your last question tells you how little I use fb for social exchange or sending messages. After reading the information at the link you sent me, along with other resources, it seems the $1-$15 charge is fb wide and used to act as a deterrent to spamming. As for sending a friend request coupled with a message saying "I don't want to add you as a friend as I just want to ask you a question  so as to not being charged $1" there are ways, and are not illegal.

Neither of the tactics you mention are illegal in the USA, but different countries have different laws on cyber stalking and cyber harassment.

Dr. Nuccitelli  

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Dr. Michael Nuccitelli


cyber bullying, cyber stalking, cybercrime, cyber terrorism, online sexual predators, child predators, Internet safety, psychopathology, criminal psychology, forensic psychology and cyber psychology.


Dr. Michael Nuccitelli is a New York State licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant. He completed his doctoral degree in clinical psychology in 1994 from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois. In 1997, Dr. Nuccitelli became a licensed psychologist in New York State (License # 013009.) In 2006, he received the Certified Forensic Consultant designation from the American College of Forensic Examiners (Identification # 103110.) In September 2011, Dr. Nuccitelli established iPredator Inc. offering the private & public sectors educational and advisory services regarding cyber bullying, cyber stalking, cybercrime, cyber terrorism and Internet predators. In June 2012, Dr. Nuccitelli and iPredator Inc. launched their long anticipated website, www.iPredator.co, offering site visitors an incredible amount of information, education and advisory services. Over the last 25 years, Dr. Nuccitelli has worked in the mental health field in a variety of capacities with various clinical populations. Concurrent with his employment in mental health, Dr. Nuccitelli was a practicing psychologist for 10 years and worked in the field of forensic psychology conducting evaluations and consultation for attorneys and court systems. Dr. Nuccitelli has extensive career and academic experiences. His areas of expertise includes forensic & criminal psychology, digital forensic psychology, psychiatric & psychological disorders and developmental psychology. He is an avid follower of national & criminal news and enjoys educating the public by interacting with the media. Dr. Nuccitelli continues to investigate and expand his construct he has constructed, called iPredator. He presently consults with the American College of Forensic Examiners to become the resource and hub for Americans seeking information on iPredators, digital/computer forensics, cyber security and training programs for the professional sector and law enforcement.

American College of Forensic Examiners International

Dr. Nuccitelli's theoretical construct, iPredator, was the feature article in the 2011 Winter issue of the Forensic Examiner published by the American College of Forensic Examiners International. His recent article "2012 Cyber Bullying Tactics," will be split and published in the Summer and Fall issues of their magazine.

Dr. Nuccitelli is a New York State Licensed Psychologist and certified forensic consultant.

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