Thursday, October 11, 2012

Home Security

Way back, I wrote a post from the point of view of the housebreaker...the poor homeless noob who comes across a luxurious home standing vacant, just packed with toys to play with.  Today, I'm going to write from the opposite point of view...the home owner who is disturbed by a naked newbie popping in during a romantic interlude and insisting on joining in.  What can you do to prevent this unwanted intrusion?  (Some earlier thoughts on this can be found in my post, "Privacy")

There is NO real privacy in SL, and locks on doors are only for fun, not for real deterrence.  But there are some security features you can employ, and some actions you can take.

Ban lines.  In About Land/Access tab, if you uncheck the public access box, yellow "police tape" ban lines will surround your property and roof it over at 50 meters.  You and people on your Access List will not see them, and be able to enter your parcel.  I don't like ban lines.  They ugly up the landscape and prevent innocent people who just want to pass over or through your land from doing so.  But it is one option.

Security systems.  You can get many types of "security orbs" from the Marketplace, some of them free.  I don't like these either...they can be tricky to set up, and you have to make sure they are not affecting people OUTSIDE your parcel or you can be reported for abuse.  This is especially critical when neighbors are close together, as they are in the Linden Home areas.

Invisibility.  Ban lines and security orbs only prevent physical intrusion.  People can still move their cameras inside your house and look at you.  In About Land/Options tab, un-check the box "make avatars and chat visible to people outside my parcel".  People outside your parcel will still be able to see a blip from you on their radars, but cannot see you or hear your local text chat.  (And you cannot see or hear them either.)

You can also limit voice chat and gesture sounds to your parcel with the Sound tab of About Land.  And of course, IMs (text and voice) are always private.

Open access poseballs:  Many pieces of scripted furniture allow the owner to set them to "group access only".  You and your partner will have to wear the correct group tag to use them, but no one else can. (You may need to create a private little group to use this feature.  That's another topic!)

As I said, I don't like any of these methods much.  We are only in SL a few hours a day, and it seems uncharitable to block off a bit of it for all the hours we are not there.  Besides, people can't actually take or damage any of your stuff.  But there is a very effective method of dealing with intruders when you ARE home:  The eject and ban function.

Right click an intruder on your parcel.  Select Eject.  You will get a menu with choices to eject, ban, or eject AND ban.  I generally select the last one.  Poof!  They are tossed out of your home and can not get back in unless you remove them from the parcel ban list.

That's generally all that's needed.  If they were extremely rude or did some nasty griefing while they were there, you could Abuse Report them, but in the usual run of things, it's a case of overkill.
I teach a class on Avatar Safety on Saturdays at 12 noon SL time, at Caledon Oxbridge University.  We cover all this and many more Second Life hazards, and the class is free.  I hope to see you there!

(Thanks to RickerR Resident for providing the inspiration for this entry!)


  1. On our Mainland homes, we set them to group acess only as an option when we need privacy.
    As soon as we dont need ti anymore we just makes ure group acess is unchecked and avatars can see and chat is checked back!
    On our rented island, that as convenant rules, needs to be open to all at all times, we just uncheck the avatar can see and chat, when we nned privacy and if some jumps in the sim at the time, we just politly ask her/him to leave, never had to use the eject and ban and hopefull will not do it, still as rule, all the toys that are xxx rated are set to group only (menus and poseball acess).
    Al this but on 2 places, our home at zindra, where all is open to all at all times (But same rule aplies, when we need to be alone, group acess only for that time!) and in our homestead that is a private sim since its not adjacent to any other region!
    On SL is much easy to prevent intruders, as we can at least choose to let enter, only adult verified or with payment info on file, some does not apply to our OSG regions, there we need to make sure that, as the regions are open to all, the content is adult explict rated one, as there is not way to check if a open sim user is adult or not!

  2. Security technologies doesn't focus on just one situation. These technologies also beg for the help of family members of the house. Family members must be at private talk at all times when it pertains to securing the house.