Just over half (51%) of the people on social networks use their real name, according to a new survey by Opinion Research and sponsored by Chubb Insurance.
The survey found eighteen percent always use a nickname, while 31 percent said they sometimes use their real name and sometimes use a nickname to identify themselves on social networking sites.
"Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare have created new social media risks and an environment where many people don't know who they are talking to online," said Kenneth Goldstein, worldwide media liability manager at Chubb.
"They don't realize who can see their location, creating many exposures for individuals and companies."
The majority (66%) of respondents said they would not use mobile technology that shows people on social networking sites their location.
"Although this lets your friends know where to find you, it also alerts criminals of your whereabouts, including when to burglarize your empty home," said Goldstein.
Almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents said their company had no policy for talking about the company on social networking sites. Of the 36% who said their company had a policy, 18% said they were encouraged to talk about the company and 18% said they were prohibited from talking about the company on social networking sites.