Monday, December 21, 2009
“Why and how should I change my name?”
There are many reasons why you might wish to change your name but the three main reasons are privacy, privacy and privacy.
One example is when you have an unusual first or last name. Even worse is when both names are unusual. If you run your first and last names on Google and come up with only one or two persons besides you, you can be tracked down in a heartbeat.
Another example is when you have a somewhat more common name but when combined with a city and state, unfavorable references about you will come up on the computer screen.
The easiest way to change your name is to just do it, without benefit of a legal name change. However, if you need to have your name change show up on your passport and your driver’s license, then a legal name change will be necessary. My suggestion is to pick four common names. Where possible, the second and third names should be names that are used both as first names and as surnames. Example:
James Martin Lee Williams.
Then, in addition to using Williams as a last name, you might also sometimes list yourself as James Martin, James Lee, Martin Lee, or even James M. Lee.
(The above information about changing your name is taken in part from How to be Invisible, Chapter 9, “Your Alternate Names and Signatures.”)