On Wednesday’s eT@lking, we had a rather interesting and worrying incident. In fact the first scary incident that I have ever been exposed to in all my four years of using online technology.
The session – a workshop on Second Life (SL) started in elluminate, with slides being shown by Marian Heddesheimer, walking us through how to find where to go, ensure audio worked etc. Unfortunately, some of the participants were late, so missed some of these introductions. As they entered elluminate, I reminded them to have the latest version of second life downloaded.
Halfway through the session, the participants who could, entered SL and were to meet Marian at a predetermined place, while elluminate and application sharing were still used. However, one of our participants, Penny, who was relatively new to second life, started off at the ‘beginners’ island”. Two participants soon joined Marian in the predesgnated meeting room, but Penny was not to be seen. Next, there was question in the chat from Penny, saying that avatars were asking her age? They then told her she had arthritus and set upon attacking her and jumping on her. This included four avatars and two animals.
Brave Penny was so brave, in that she divorced her feelings from her avatar, kept her cool, chatted to us in the chat window, then used audio to find out how to meet the rest. Quick witted and experienced Marian was soon able to find her and teleport her to safety.
This leads to the following questions:-
- Who polices second life?
- How do you report cyber crime?
- How many unsuspecting newbies have been frightened out of SL, by these cyber thugs at the beginners’ space?
- How do we keep ourselves safe in second life and virtual worlds?
- What extra measures do we need to take for our students to ensure their safety?
- What measures should I take next time, to ensure that all our online participants are safe?
Cyber crime can be reported but the avatars’ names would be required. In those moments of anxiety, the victim is using all oftheir powers to try and ‘get out of there’ without observing the avatars’ names.
Who as advice for us on this problem?