I use a pen name because I'd be too easy to locate using the phone directory. (Just for fun, I once looked up an Aussie teacher I met on the internet and showed her a photo of her school. Those searches can be easy)
If I mention a vacation, burglars would know there's nobody at home at my address then.
I also got threats on other sites, as did other people.(one even got firebombed) And I don't want a girl (or a gay guy) ringing on my door either. :)
Several good reasons thus. Nothing paranoid, elementary precautions.
Paranoid? Uhm, have you read the news in the past three years? I think in a time when the US government works together with large corporations such as Facebook, Google and Apple to systematically spy on its citizens AS WELL AS people all around the world and in a time when whistleblowers who have the courage to inform the world about this have to escape to Russia and are threatened by the US government to be imprisoned for life, I think one cannot possibly be too "paranoid". It's already bad enough that the NSA saves my data every single time I go on google and type something in there.
Someone on here uses their real name as their user name? I've never see any case of that. I notice that you used Tania in your user name, so I'm presuming that is your real name. But I'm also guessing that "1993" doesn't appear in your real name, so you technically aren't using your real name, either.