Superman's need for a civilian identity is often justified by his need to protect the ones around him. Well, Lois Lane is kidnapped or dropped from the sky several times a day, and Jimmy Olsen has been exposed to more genetic-altering material than a Neutrogena cat dumpster. It's all Superman's fault. If he told the world he was Clark Kent, they couldn't possibly be in any more danger. Let's look at a 1964 Superman story.
This seems stupid as s**t! Looks like a job for Superman!
While on a walk, Clark Kent and Lois run into an escaped mental patient who mistakes Clark for John Dillinger and threatens to shoot his girlfriend. And all that takes place in the first panel. Five seconds next to Clark Kent moves faster than 12 episodes of Boardwalk Empire.
Clark knows if he punches out the madman, Lois will think he's Superman. So he decides to go along with it, pretending to be John Dillinger and building him a bomb. But only until he can spot an opening, right? No. No, let me show you how Superman solves problems. He agrees to the escaped mental patient's deranged plan to test some old bulletproof vests. On Lois.
Superman, you're going to just watch her get shot!? Ha ha, f**k!