Safe and Secure

I think it is safe to say that roleplay is a fundamental part of Second Life. It takes all forms from families to fantasy and science fiction and of course to roleplays of a more adult nature. Recently I have talked to people on a couple of occasions, and seen an old forum post re-surface which have inspired me to make this post.

I said hi to a person the other day in a shop who had written in her profile about how she was open to the idea of someone controlling her computer with some commonly used remote control software. My intention was to warn her against this behavior but it turned out my warning was too late. The person in control of the avatar was in the store shopping on the account they had stolen. They freely admitted it and that made the AR easy, but this shouldn’t ever happen.  I get that there are certain things we can do in Second Life to make roleplay feel even more real, but realism in this regard should never be at the expense of our safety and security. That said, here are my top tips for staying safe and secure in Second Life (and really online in general).

  1. Don’t tell ANYONE your password! Not your lover, spouse (RL or SL), best friend, master, mistress, not even Linden Lab. Not a sole anywhere needs to know your password.
  2. Use a strong and unique password. Many of us spend real money and have many dollars invested in Second Life. You should be treating the password you use like it was your online banking password. I suggest a minimum of 8 characters (12+ is better) including uppercase, lowercase and numeric characters. The password you use in Second Life should be unique to Second Life, don’t use it on any other site.
  3. NEVER click on a link in Second Life that you were not explicitly expecting. Doesn’t matter who sent it, what group it is in, whose profile it is in…. never ever do it. Period. Full stop! (yes this means that all those groups dedicated to sharing links to deals are pretty much useless if you follow this advice)
  4. In a similar vein, don’t open items you receive from other people un-announced without very carefully understanding what you are opening. Don’t attach it, don’t even rez it until you know what it is.
  5. Look at every link you do click on to make sure it looks “right”. All official Second Life pages use the domain, they never use anything else. Links to official pages on Marketplace and the Second Life domain will have the Second Life logo icon next to them when pasted in chat. Don’t click links that use URL shorteners, ask the person to post the full actual link so you can see where you are going. If you are unsure, don’t click!
  6. Notice the icon before the official links
  7. Don’t let people onto your computer in a way that gives them unrestricted access. Watch what they are doing and if they are doing something that they shouldn’t be cut them off. Stay away from software like Teamviewer which can result in you having a loss of control.
  8. This is maybe the most important. Question everything and everyone (even your bestest friend). Someone sends something and asks you to click. Ask why. Making an informed decision instead of just clicking a link or opening an unexpected freebie can go a long way towards keeping you safe.
At the end of the day no one will follow all of these rules all of the time, but do please try to keep these things in mind when you are online in Second Life and everywhere else.

Leave a Reply