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For better or worse, I am sharing things I have done for online safety in Opensim, as the reader you can decide for yourself which actions to take. If you can learn from your own mistakes, you are pretty smart but if you can learn from SOMEONE ELSE'S mistakes, you are a genius!

After reading a number of posts on Opensimworld, it is apparent that some hobbyists of unaware of protections they have available when running Opensimulator for the first time. Some tinkerers may opt for running a simulator on their spare computer at home and connecting the region to an OPEN grid like OSgrid or Zetaworlds. Nothing beats the excitement of having your own land for the first time. You spend hours designing your city, giving it a theme, placing sit targets on all of your furniture; everything is 'ponies and rainbows' until some jerk comes in and decides to populate your territory with questionable objects in the hopes they can READ YOUR COMPLAINTS HERE ON OPENSIMWORLD while they are fondling their (ahem - your favorite depiction here) ego at your ire.

THE BEST RESPONSE TO TROLLS IS NO RESPONSE. When you ignore them, they move on to someone else who will make some noise... They are like vampires feeding off of negative energy.

The screenshot above illustrates things you can do to protect your simulators. In 'about land, options' section I un-check the Everyone boxes. Only Group users may use those features. You can also define who may enter, in 'about land, access' you can restrict access to a group or only certain individuals. Now some of you will say "Stop right there, my visitor's AO will not work or they cannot use their custom dance huds". The good news is that if your visitors are using the AO built into their viewer, that is not a problem, they will have their own custom animations or dances and will not need to run scripts. If the visitor is someone you can trust, you can allow them into the group... If you are having a party, you can temporarily enable script access to guests while you are present. When you are running the region it is up to YOU to POLICE IT. You have options for blocking hostiles in your built-in configuration files. There are also scripted solutions for traffic control where you can banish individual users, entire grids or IP ranges in real-time. You are free to seek out any technology which keeps your world safe. I strongly advise that you examine the code before employing these security devices.

For Hypergrid users: Enjoying a LAG-FREE experience is not the HOST's responsibility. IT IS YOURS.

As computers get more powerful each year, region operators WILL populate their sims with content that could bring many CPUs and display adapters to their knees. Lets face it, not everyone can afford to buy a new computer every year with all of the latest bells and whistles. When traveling you want to make sure your PC is optimized for controlling client side lag. Luckily, your viewer has features available to combat these issues. Reducing draw distance, particles, LOD and avatar complexity will give you better frame rates at the expense of reduced visual quality.

Other ways to protect yourself when traveling include: Making sure your SUITCASE IS EMPTY - the more junk you have in there, the more BLOAT that follows you as you travel. You can also make a lightweight hypergrid avatar. The screenshot above shows my actual inventory window. Instead of carrying everything on my person, I have everything rezzed on land in a hidden region on my grid that only I can access. Less inventory means less orange smoke at login. I have been told that some shady grid owners can use rogue simulator code see what is in your suitcase and copy it. I have also heard of grid operators cloning visitors via collision scripted objects - it is easy to copy stuff a cloned avatar is wearing. I always say "Never wear anything when traveling that you do not want some simpleton to copy". I have seen some nasty OSSL code that will crash the sim of the person who cloned you without permission. Trolling the trolls can be fun BUT I digress, TWO WRONGS DO NOT MAKE IT RIGHT.

Opensim does not have to be the 'WILD WILD WEST' - protect yourselves & protect your regions. You and your guests can enjoy the best of Opensimulator.

As always, feel free to share this article when needed.

Peace & Love