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Enhanced Privacy: Hide User Names from Guests 1.2.0


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Your users might not be aware and might not like that their display names are public in any public area of your site. And as a result, Google queries for real names or business names used as display names will often lead to your website. While this can be nice in regards to traffic, it can upset users and might be problematic in regards to privacy laws. 

This plugin mitigates these problems by truncating or hiding display names when content pages of your site are viewed as guest. This decreases the likelihood of search queries for names leading to your community pages. 

For a live demo, check out Typography.Guru

Important notice: The plugin only works on sites that have removed the guest access to profiles through the permission settings. If you let search engines like Google index every user profile, obfuscating the usernames makes little sense. This plugin is specifically made for sites that already do not link to user profiles, but still expose the full display names (e.g. in forum topics or in the discovery feeds). If you are unsure about your settings, open a forum topic as guest user and check if the display names link to the user’s profile or not. If not, you can use this plugin. 

Plugin Settings:

  • Set the number of characters to show. 
    • Jane Doe can be turned into “J…” (1 character) or “Jane…” (4 characters) for example. You can also set the value to zero to remove the original display name entirely. 
  • Use the “member” suffix.
    • Put the word “member” in front of every truncated name. This works best when just a few or none of the original characters are shown. Jane Doe would become “Member J…“  for example. The word member can be changed and translated. 
  • Use brackets.
    • This puts square brackets around the replaced user names, e.g. [Member J…] instead of Member J…
  • Show hover description
    • A description explaining that full user names are shown after login. The phrase can be changed and translated. 
  • Pick admin exception
    • You can pick one member that will be excluded from the truncation/replacement. This can be useful for your main admin account. You would protect your user’s privacy, but still have your name shown in your Pages articles and announcements for example. 

The plugin works for all pages of a site that use the theme templates “userLink” and “userLinkFromData” to generate the display names. This is the case for forum topics, Pages articles, the calendar and many block feeds. The display names might still be exposed in the source code, when mentioned in posts directly or in other areas of the suite if they are set as being public. More areas to obfuscate the usernames might be added later on request, but only if the removal is easily possible. There is no guarantee that this plugin will remove all user names. It just significantly reduces the likelihood that search engines pick up the display names. 

Edited by opentype

What's New in Version 1.2.0   See changelog


Added two new places where the plugin hides user names:

  1. Topic hover in forum listing view
  2. Solved highlight in topic view

Support via Support Topic.
FAQ on my Profile Page. 


Installation/update instructions:

  • Install the product through the ACP Marketplace
  • Adjust the settings by going to System > Plugins
  • Click the Edit button (pen icon) next to the plugin name.

Change/Translate language strings:

  • In the ACP go to Customization > Language
  • Click the Translate button (world icon) next to a language you have installed.
  • There are two front end language strings you can change for this plugin. To translate them, put these keys in the search bar:
    • “HideUserName_member”
    • and “HideUserName_popup”.

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