Check Out These Windows 10 Security Settings

Recent versions of Windows 10 have security features built in that are designed to identify threats, eliminate vulnerabilities and make it harder for hackers and cyber criminals to do their dirty work. Let’s take a look at the Windows 10 Security Center, and explore all the features and settings there. Read on…

The Windows 10 Security Center

First, the good news. You don’t need to understand the workings of Data Execution Prevention, Address Space Layout Randomization, UEFI Secure Boot, or Structured Exception Handling Overwrite Protection. You don’t even have to memorize the acronyms that go along with them. All you need to know is that these “threat mitigation” features are part of Windows 10, and (if you turn them on) they’re working in the background to protect you from a variety of threats and cyber-attacks.

If you have Windows 10, you should be familiar with the Windows Security app, which is the hub for all security-related settings. Windows Defender (Microsoft’s built-in antivirus tool), Windows Firewall and a few other tools were merged into the Windows Security app in the Windows 10 Creators Update that was released in April, 2017.

As of this writing, the latest version of Windows 10 is the “May 2021 Update” which is also known as Version 21H1, Build 19043, Codename Iron. It’s just beginning to roll out via Windows Update, so if you still have the Windows 10 “October 2020 Update” (also known as Version 20H2, Version 2009, Build 19042, Codename Manganese) or the Windows 10 “May 2020 Update” (also confusingly known as Version 2004, Build 19041) – don’t worry, you’ll eventually get the latest update.

The Security Center app puts many Windows 10 security features in one place. You can fine-tune your anti-malware scanning options, tweak device settings, configure parental controls, or perform a “Fresh Start” if things get fouled up. To open the Windows Security app, just click the Defender shield icon in the notification area on the taskbar and click Open. OR, you can click on the Start menu and search for Windows Security.

Virus & threat protection is where you’ll find the Windows Defender malware scanning functions; toggles for real-time protection, cloud-based protection, controls for malware sample submission to Microsoft, the ability to exempt files or folders from Defender scans, notifications settings for Defender and Firewall, and threat definition update controls.

In the past, I’ve been critical of Microsoft Defender, the precursor of Windows Defender. I understand that the Windows 10 incarnation of this anti-malware tool is much improved. But you’re not locked into Microsoft’s security tools with Windows 10. You can still use Avast, Avira, BitDefender, PC Matic, or any other antivirus tool you like on Windows 10. If you a install a third-party antivirus or firewall product, Microsoft Defender and Firewall will be disabled automatically, and the presence of your antivirus tool will be indicated here. (After years of using Avast Antivirus, I switched to PC Matic, which uses a unique combination of protection strategies that I think are superior. You can read my review and recommendation in Review: PC Matic Gets a Zero!)

Device performance & health is where you can check for any issues with Windows Update and device drivers that may leave you vulnerable. Storage capacity and battery life issues may affect system performance/health. You’ll also see here if you’re current with your Windows updates, and if not, what might be causing the update bottleneck.

On the Device performance & health window you will also find the Fresh Start option that can re-install the latest version of Windows 10 if necessary. Microsoft recommends this option if your computer has performance issues or if you have too many unnecessary apps. Fresh Start will remove most of your apps, but will keep your personal data and Windows settings intact. Microsoft says that Fresh Start may improve your startup performance, memory usage, and battery life.

If you’ve had trouble getting the latest build via Windows Update, try Fresh Start. But first, try the Windows Update Troubleshooter. (In Settings, search for troubleshoot.)

Firewall & network protection includes Windows Firewall settings and the Network and Internet Troubleshooter.

Device Security offers Core isolation, a security feature that protects Windows from malicious software by isolating them in memory. You can try turning on the Memory integrity option here, which Microsoft recommends if your system supports it. If a check for incompatible drivers turns up any problems, you can click a link to review them and take further action.

App & browser control deals with Windows settings that can warn you of potentially dangerous Web content before it is downloaded by Edge or an app, or block sketchy content without warning, or let any old thing into your system (not recommended). The reputation-based protection will scan any file downloaded from the Internet, even if it was downloaded by a non-Microsoft browser or app. Exploit protection will help to ptotect against a range of incoming attacks. The isolated browsing option will install Microsoft Defender Application Guard, which adds additional safeguards to the Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Office products.

Family options include parental controls over the sites kids can visit, the hours and days when they can use the Internet, and the apps they can buy based upon “maturity ratings.” A Microsoft account is required to use Family options. A few years ago, I tried the parental controls built into Windows 8.1 on my son’s laptop, but he found that they were easily bypassed just by changing the date or time on the system clock. I have not tried this feature on a Windows 10 computer, so if you have experience with it, please share.

One final note — If you don’t need Internet Explorer, I suggest removing it from Windows 10 to give hackers one less program that may have exploitable vulnerabilities. IE is a favorite target because, historically, it has lots of vulnerabilities and it’s present on most Windows computers. To uninstall IE, go to Control Panel and select Uninstall a program. In the left-hand sidebar of the next screen, click on Turn Windows features on and off. Find Internet Explorer and uncheck its checkbox.

While you’re there, review all installed Windows features and uncheck any that you don’t need. The Edge browser cannot be uninstalled or disabled. I got rid of Windows Media Player, Windows Fax and Scan, the Internet Printing Client, and SMB 1.0 file sharing support. SMB1, as it’s called, enables file and printer sharing with old versions of Windows (NT, XP, and Server 2003); if you don’t need to do that, get rid of SMB1. When you have unchecked everything you want to remove, click OK. You’ll need to wait a few minutes while features are removed and your system reboots. Just be careful here… don’t remove any components if you’re not sure what they do.

A Very Special thanks to Bob Rankin for this post

Have A Great Week From All Of Us At Zoha Islands And Fruit Islands

Second Life Meets The Sims

Second Life Meets The Sims: Roleplay System Makes Your Avatar Look Wet, Sleepy, Dirty, or Even Drunk Based on Your In-Game Behavior

Here’s a huge and fun new update (SLurl to check it out) from The Really Useful Scripts Corner, a proud sponsoring partner of New World Notes — a major expansion to its Really Needy roleplay HUD (created in collaboration with top SL cosmetics brand Izzie’s):

Visible, physical changes to your avatar body based on how you interact in-world. (Watch the demo above!)

“If your avatar dives into water or goes swimming, he or she will emerge with water droplets on the face and body, and dripping wet,” says HUD creator Grace7 Ling. “If your avatar is tired or sleep-deprived (according to the HUD), they will get eye bags. Don’t drink enough water, your avatar gets chapped lips; don’t shower for days, your avatar starts to look grimy! Izzie and I think this will raise the level of realism for roleplayers who desire a truly immersive experience.”

So pretty much Second Life meets The Sims. Here’s all the details from Grace herself:

SL roleplay HUD Really Needy face changes

This concept of avatar skin changes being triggered by factors other than the user voluntarily wearing an inventory item, was previously implemented in the Injuries add-on. As covered by the recent NWN post, roleplayers using the Really Needy HUD as a roleplay-cum-combat system, would see gunshot wounds automatically appear on the part of the avatar body which has been shot by compatible firearms. (Weapon-makers interested to collaborate, contact me.)

Scripting this is made possible by utilizing “RLV”, more famously associated with the BDSM community in Second Life. RLV is often used to let other people control your clothes and capture you. In this case, I am using it to put on BOM tattoo layers made by Izzie’s, when triggered by physiological conditions of the avatar as simulated by the HUD. Such as ‘Hangover Face’ if your avatar is drunk or ‘Flush’ if your avatar is exercising, feverish, or aroused. RLV comes with Firestorm and some other viewers, but not the official viewer unfortunately.

The same tech would even allow Really Needy HUD users to set their avatar shape and appearance to change ‘involuntarily’ due to the female cycle or pregnancy if they wanted to. For example, breast veins or slightly swollen breasts due to hormonal changes.

There are a couple of technical challenges encountered; any advice from anyone would be appreciated. First, the avatar turns grey for a split second while tattoo layers are being applied, which spoils the immersion. Presumably that can’t be helped until Linden Labs does something. Secondly, there are some instances where although multiple BOM layers are being worn, somehow the new layer added (not replaced) is not visible until the user does a right-click and choose Edit Outfit.  

The Skin Effects Pack works with the latest Really Needy HUD, and is on promotion for L$199 only from 20-21 August. Buy both in my store.

And this is what my collaborator Izzie Button, owner of Izzie’s store, has to say about this collaboration:

“It was fun to work on the Skin Effects Pack with Grace. The Really Needy HUD makes it easy for roleplayers to have the BOM layers get put on automatically depending on their roleplay situation. It makes the whole experience feel more real. I can see my customers and Grace’s customers having fun with this! If we see good  response, we can do more!”

Have A Great Week From All Of Us At Zoha Islands and Fruit Islands

A Beautifully Illustrated Travel Guide

To the Second Life Countryside

The desert

Cajsa Lilliehook covers the best in virtual world screenshot art and digital painting

Betta Bee’s “The Desert” is an exciting picture, not least because there are really not enough great desert sims that aren’t role-play. This was taken at Cannibal Island (teleport link here) which is part of a rental estate, not a role-play sim. (Their group tag is Vegetarian Cannibal!) I love how she frames this so the lines of drift cast horizontal shadows that lead our eyes up and to the right as though there were a road giving us leading lines. 

colors .. with heron  ..........      80 Days Jambo

“Colors with heron” catches this heron perched on a derelict boat on the shore with everything cast in the red-gold light of the sunset. (Teleport link here.) This feels like a painting.


a shy rabbit ... with poppies

“A Shy Rabbit…with poppies” is another color-suffused picture though this feels like a sunrise. There seems to be an early morning mistiness in the air that catches the colors of the sunlight in the fine water droplets, creating a golden mist that obscures the rabbit, making it seem more shy that it may be. The forefront in bold colorful poppies provides perspective and reminds us that our perception of mist and fog is more substantial the farther away we are. 

Betta Bee’s stream is great fun. There are lovely landscapes with SLurls to guide your travels. She includes a few pictures of herself, mostly having fun such as biking through the countryside. If you want to know where to visit, she is a great person to follow. 

See all of Cajsa’s Choices here. Follow Cajsa on Flickr, on Twitter or on her blog.

Have a great week from all of us at Zoha Islands and Fruit Islands



The Zenescope Metaverse comes to Second Life!

The Zenescope Metaverse

Created in an exclusive partnership with the acclaimed comic book publisher Zenescope, the all-new Zenescope Metaverse is bursting with magic and mystery. In this week’s “Second Life Destinations” video, Zenescope co-founder Ralph Tedesco gives an exclusive “first look” at this exciting new virtual world experience.

Immerse yourself and discover the many secrets hidden across this vast Second Life region offering dark and twisted games and experiences inspired by the Zenescope universe. In partnership with Epik, visitors can snag limited edition collectibles inspired by heroes, villains, and Zenescope favorites such as Cinderella (a.k.a. “Cindy, the serial killer princess”), Belle, the Mad Hatter, and more.

This huge region is so highly detailed that it might just take several visits to see everything. Start your journey in the wide courtyard where you can connect with others before exploring. As you traverse this enchanted realm of flowing brooks and glistening flowers, keep an eye out for hidden locations and easter eggs referencing some of Zenescope’s most iconic tales. 

Meet new friends as you wind your way through the Hedge Maze and discover games that you can play together like the whimsical Goblin Golf. Don’t miss the special quest to score the ultimate prize — but beware of the Jabberwocky, among other fantastical creatures.

Zenescope Metaverse - 2.jpg

Zenescope Metaverse - 1.jpg

Experience storytelling and comic books in a whole new way at the Zenescope Metaverse — check it out exclusively in Second Life.

Video Production Credits:
Draxtor Despres



The Zenescope universe is now in Second Life! Interact with your favorite characters and immerse yourself in an all-new multi-region virtual world experience featuring exclusive games, roleplaying regions, hidden surprises, and exclusive merchandise that you’ll only find in Second Life.

Visit in Second Life
Have a great week from all of us at Zoha Islands and Fruit Islands

To wander the subconscious in Second Life

To wander the subconscious in Second Life

SenKonscia: Cherry Manga

This article comes with an apology. A couple of months ago, Selen Minotaur invited me to pay a visit to to her latest endeavour, located in a small (4080 sq meter) parcel tucked into the corner of a Full region. Entitled SenKonscia, the parcel was introduced to me by Selen as “a place for photographers, dreamers, lovers of 3D art and surreal environments. It is unfinished – and will always remain unfinished, because I intend to add and change things regularly”.

Senkonscia is the Esperanto for “unconscious”, and is here used in the psychological definition of the word, rather than the medical, referencing that part of the mind said to lie beneath the subconscious; the home to the darker aspects of our personalities and the place where fears, feelings, and so on are repressed in an attempt to contain them, as well being as the repository of subliminal perceptions and automatic reactions. It’s the part of the mind we’re never directly aware of, but which (it is believe) manifests itself through our dreams, which can be a mix of the attractive, the surreal and the frightening.

SenKonscia: Cherry Manga, Eric Bloodrose, Harry Cover (impossibleisnotfrench), and Willem Koba

Thus the parcel presents a multi-level setting, from the ground through a set of three sky platforms – Water, Sky and Desert – Selen presents a series of minimalist settings in which 3D art from her personal collection is set out. Multiple artists are presented, including Cherry Manga (whose work can be seen throughout, but receives special attention in the Water platform), x1XDanteX4x, Eupalinos Ugajin, Eric Bloodrose, Harry Cover (impossibleisnotfrench), Willem Koba (willem Koba), Noke Yuitza, Bryn Oh, Stabitha (What88 Zond), Haveit Neox, and Keira Blackthorne.

Movement between the ground and the sky platforms is achieved via a “trapdoor” teleport network: left-click on a trapdoor to display a dialogue box of destination options. Click the name of the desired destination and then wait for the the hover text above the trapdoor to update, then click it again to display the World Map, and use that to teleport.

SenKonscia: Moebius9 and Noke Yuitza, Keira Blackthorne, May Tolsen and Stabitha (What88 Zond)

Each of the levels from the ground up offers a minimalist setting that uses its own environment settings and lighting, so it is important you have your viewer set to Use Shared Environment (World → Environment and check Use Shared Environment) and that Advanced Lighting Model is active (Preferences → Graphics and make sure Advanced Lighting Model is checked).

All of the levels present surreal settings in which the art has been laid out in a seemingly random manner, and where visitors can wander as they chose to witness it. In this, the settings add to the idea that SenKonscia is a trip through a state of dream, individual pieces of art a flash of an image conjured by the the unconscious and pushed into the conscious mind unbidden.

SenKonscia: Cica Ghost, Vincent Priesley (sweetvincent), Silas Merlin, and Willem Koba

Intriguing, surreal, perhaps in places a little disturbing – again like the very nature of our unconscious rearing up through our dreams or in times when primal instincts (“fight or flight”, etc.), take a hold – and sent to constantly evolve through changes to the art on display, SenKonscia is a fascinating trip through art into the landscape of the mind.

SLurl Details

Have a great week from all of us at Zoha Islands and Fruit Islands

And a HUGE thanks to Inara Pey for giving all of us great content and keep us exploring Second life.

Designing Worlds explores SL18B

Designing Worlds explores SL18B Part 2 – Resident Builds!

Today, Monday 26th July, in our second show covering the Second Life 18th Birthday Celebrations, Designing Worlds takes a look at some of the resident-created exhibits that were many and widely varied.

From 2pm today you can see the show on the Designing Worlds Vimeo channel at: Or you can join us for our Watch Party in the beautiful Designing Worlds studios in the Garden of Dreams!

The Hidden World of the Designing Worlds studio, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Kicking off from Designing Worlds’ own booth, we talk to some of the creators and designers who produced such an amazing collection of builds. We visit two builds that members of the Designing Worlds team were closely involved with – the Fantasy Faire LitFest, and the Virtual Community Radio. Then we explore the sites created by the Bellisseria Bureau of Bureaucracy, the nonprofit Join Me Join Us!, the SLEA, and a number of others too!

Saffia takes a ride around the site in a podcar, and, with some wonderful photographs from Wildstar Beaumont too, we see some fantastic sights, testament to the ingenuity, creativity and imagination of Second Life residents.

It makes for a beautiful and fascinating show – so do tune in from 2pm, or join us at 2pm SLT at the Watch Party in Garden of Dreams!

Resident build at SL18B, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Enjoy Have  great week from all of us at Zoha Islands and Fruit Islands