Yes, reprisals are always a possibility. Legal, digital, physical and financial. So what? If you live in hiding because the world is angry and unfair and aggressive, you also live in a world that can TRY to destroy you in so many other ways. The only way we strengthen our personal and democratic way of life is to live transparently, unafraid of the public forum. Most people keep demanding greater transparency in Government. That is a pipe dream unless we understand the only way to achieve that is to have a citizenry who demonstrate transparency in their own beliefs and opinions.
Unless you're a child molester, escapee from prison or a radical believer in violence, there are few reasons not to use your real name on the web other than you live with too many fears. If you can't be courageous in the public forum, your point of view is meaningless. Stand up for yourself. Be brave. It's a requirement for living free.