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HOUSTON Move over YouTube user cutepuppies99, Google wants you to use your real name when you go to upload or comment on its video website.

In recent weeks YouTube started popping up a new message, encouraging everyone to convert their existing username into a real name, linking your YouTube profile with your Google+ account.

On its official blog, Google said sometimes people just outgrow a username like cutepuppies99, and maybe now you want to use your real name just like you would on a social network.

Most experts agree, however, this is a move on Google s behalf to increase traffic to its Google+ social network, a competitor to Facebook.

Before you make the switch, here are a few things you need to know:

>> Switching to your real name links your YouTube and Google+ accounts, but the Web address to your YouTube account will still have the old username

>> If your child has a YouTube account, make sure you re watching over all of their activity and let them know you don t want them using their real name

>> Look over all of your privacy settings in both YouTube and Google+; note what your Google+ friends can and can t see of what you do on YouTube

>> Read Google s privacy policy

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