With the PS4 Sony has implemented a “Real Name” feature which does exactly what it says, displays your real full name instead of your PSN ID to your PSN friends list/users you specify by accepting a real name request. For many this will be a welcomed feature to more easily keep track of gaming friends. Thankfully there is a way to completely disable this feature for the rest of us who value our privacy. There are two ways the PS4 displays your name. Online over the PlayStation Network and offline (local only) on your own console. This guide will walk you through the process of disabling both options.
Hide Real Name On PSN (Online)
If you just wish to stop your full name from being displayed online follow these steps:
1. Navigate to Settings in the upper row of icons at the home screen.
2. From the Settings screen, select PSN.
3. From the PSN screen, select Privacy Settings. You will be presented with a sign-in prompt. Enter your account credentials and press OK.
4. From the Privacy Settings screen, select Real Name and Profile Picture.
5. This final screen explains the Real Name Request feature. Make sure both Close Friends in multiplayer games and The close Friends of your close Friends are unchecked. Select Confirm to save your settings.
Your real name will no longer be displayed online, replaced by your default PSN ID. Continue below to completely disable the PS4 from showing your full name even on your own console.
Hide Real Name On Your Console (Local)
Once you disable real names from displaying online you may need to go a step further. For most users this won’t be necessary. But anyone who creates and shares gameplay videos or screenshots could still be at risk of having their full name displayed online through uploaded media and social media. For example, these very screenshots had to be censored because my name was displayed at the bottom right corner. Follow these steps to further hide your real name and stop your PS4 from displaying it on your own console:
1. Navigate back to PSN screen in settings. This time select Account Information.
2. From the Account Information screen, select Profile.
3. From the Profile screen, select Name. Once again you will be asked to sign-in, so have your account email and password ready.
4. This screen presents you with two options. The first option, how your name will be displayed in gameplay and on PSN is the one that needs to be changed. Both first and last name boxes need to be filled out, so put a nickname or other form of anonymous ID that will not identify you to the general public. I have entered blank and user below as an example. Press Confirm to finish and save these settings.
You can now play games and share media content from your PS4 without fear of your personal information being displayed publicly.