The following is a transcript of " Traveling Avatar's Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life ," a podcast from QuickAndDirtyTips.com . The audio program is available via RSS feed here and at TheStreet.com's podcast home page .

(Editor's note: You may need Second Life software installed on your computer to access the addresses below.)

Will Ross here. Welcome to The Traveling Avatar's Quick and Dirty Tips for a Better Second Life. On this show we discuss tips and tricks for the game Second Life, created by Linden Labs.

This week's episode "Lock Down: How to Secure Your Land from Griefers."

(Eerie music begins) Submitted for your consideration: a man, new to Second Life, buys a parcel of land and builds himself a home. At first things go well, but then suddenly strange, terrible things start happening. The ground rises around him swallowing his home. Signs, tip jars and empty containers appear out of nowhere, cluttering the landscape and keeping him from setting down as much as a single chair. And every now and again a little person wearing a tutu runs into his house and round kicks him across the entire sim after screaming, "YOU JUST GOT CHUCK NORRISED!" Did he build his house on the edge of... the twilight zone? (End music)

Nope, he just got a little sloppy with his land settings. Remember, as cool a place as it is, Second Life is still the Wild West, and so it's a good idea to have some basic security knowledge. And just a little know-how can mean the difference between home sweet home and spending all of your time returning self replicating party hats to some Gorean named Baron Darkspire. The easiest security involves two factors: land settings and elevation. But first let's talk some basic security settings.

Basic Security Settings

To get to your lands settings, either left click on the ground and choose "About Land" or just click on the name of the land in your menu bar. From there, you can access the "Options" menu by clicking... well... "Options." Let's go over some of the more common security settings used by Second Lifers.

Most people choose to turn on "No Push," which stops you from being flung across the Sim like a superball, and "Safe (No Damage)," which will keep you from being repeatedly and gleefully killed via sniper rifle or, more embarrassingly, watermelon launcher.

Most folks also turn off "Edit Terrain" (which if turned on allows anyone in the game to terraform your land like Kwame from Captain Planet) and "Create Objects" (which if set to "All Residents" allows anyone to rez anything they want to on your land).

Some people also turn off "Run Scripts," which I find to be a little excessive, but it's a good power to have if you're really getting grief from someone who should really be on the teen grid (or X-Box Live).

Those settings will form a basic level of security that should be fine for most folks, but there are a few things you can do to step things up a notch if you're having trouble or are just extra cautious.

You can create an access list from scratch, or by only allowing members of a specific group by choosing "Access" in the "About Land" menu, which will limit access to your parcel to people on that list. I use these from time to time, but I do find it a pain to have to add someone to the list every time I want to have company.

Elevation

You can also build your dream home high above the clouds, making it much harder for strangers to get to you. There are a number of tools and methods for doing this, but here's how I do it. I rez or create an object and then I sit on it. Once I'm comfortably seated, I right click the object, then choose "Edit" to open the edit menu. Then I just click the "Object" tab and change the Z Position of the object to whatever height I want to build at (usually 500 meters.)

The object, and myself with it, are shot into space where I can build from where I'm seated (but be careful not to stand up, or you'll do a face plant worthy of a 1929 stock broker.) People can still find you at 500 meters, but it takes more know-how, and there's the added benefit of a better view, if you live in a neighborhood that looks like it was designed by Miss Johnson's 4th grade Art Lab and ADD Study.

That's it for this episode! So until next time, remember, back up your hard drive often. That has nothing to do with Second Life specifically, it's just good policy.
Will Ross, a Second Life explorer and professional slacker, writes and records the Traveling Avatar articles and podcasts. Following a stint in college where he came dangerously close to earning a degree in history, Will Ross spent countless hours of his life in a number of online worlds including Worlds of Warcraft, Everquest, Ultima Online, and City of Heroes before making a permanent home on Eldoe Island in Second Life. To request a topic or share a tip, send an email to secondlife@qdnow.com or call 206-888-MYSL.