Second Life Privacy Warning

This short post is to bring to your attention a feature introduced in SL some time ago that will have privacy implications for some residents.

The New Community Page

A little while ago, Linden Labs introduced a community site related to Second Life. You can find it at this link:

Second Life Profile

How my profile looks

If you log in, you can friend people, make comments on their wall, even send messages that they will recieve in real-time if in Second Life. This is a great feature – you don’t have to start up an SL viewer to send a message to a friend in SL. This could be very handy for people on low bandwidth connections.

However, if you don’t log in, you can still view people’s profiles. This means that anyone, absolutely anyone – your real world friends and family say – can view your About Me tab. I have seen a few profiles in SL where people have posted real pictures of themselves, doing things that are, shall we say, a little revealing. Now, with this community feature, there’s no guarantee that it won’t come up on a search in google.

Don’t panic. Such information is unlikely to come up in a random search. But if do have any personally identifying information in your profile, it might be worthwhile editing your profile or making it harder to find your page. More on that below.

You can see what other people see by logging out, and visiting the following page (replace my username with yours):

Hiding your profile

There are settings to hide your profile. These will vary from viewer to viewer, but go something like this:

Open your profile –> Privacy Settings –> and set each section you are concerned with (About me, Real World, Interests, Groups, Picks) to “shared information only to your friends”. I imagine the Real World tab is the only one you will need to hide.

You can also find the Preferences menu item –> Privacy tab, and uncheck “Show me in search results” if you want to make sure you don’t show up in searches at all.

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