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Security concerns for someone who does not know anything about internet/computers


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+jnelsoninjax

My MIL just bought a new laptop and my wife is helping her get everything setup including using Avast for the AV program. My concern is that my MIL is illiterate and really should not be using a computer to start with and according to my wife all she is going to use it for is playing online games (Facebook? not sure) and watching movies (streaming) now my biggest concern is she has fallen for the phone scams (pay x$ to get more $) and she is getting lots of phone calls that seem to be coming from Florida and other locations, one even said that she was going to be arrested (she is living in Idaho) but since she can not read, me fear is she is going to answer a phone call from 'tech support' and they are going to milk her for all she's got. I doubt that there is much that can be done at this point, but if anybody has some suggestions on things we could try I am defiantly open to any ideas. Her husband is Hispanic and I really do not know how literate he is either, but he works allot and is not in the home when these calls, etc happen.

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Nick H.

Make sure the account she uses is a standard account, and make sure that only a trusted friend or family member has the password to the admin account. That should help reduce the amount of things she installs, also possibly preventing a "technician" from installing something to remote into her computer.

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+Dick Montage

Drill it into her that the ONLY person to touch her computer other than her yourself and your wife.

 

Beyond that, there's little you can do beyond locking it down as noted above.

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+DonC

Also consider using Sandboxie to isolate the browser. It's open source now and you don't have to pay for a licence any more:

 

https://github.com/sandboxie-plus/Sandboxie

 

The reason for doing this would be so that programs that are downloaded and installed are also isolated and clean-up is usually a lot easier afterwards.

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Bruinator
10 minutes ago, DonC said:

Also consider using Sandboxie to isolate the browser. It's open source now and you don't have to pay for a licence any more:

 

https://github.com/sandboxie-plus/Sandboxie

 

The reason for doing this would be so that programs that are downloaded and installed are also isolated and clean-up is usually a lot easier afterwards.

Not to hijack this thread but does using sandboxie slow down a person's internet connection at all?

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+DonC
17 minutes ago, Bruinator said:

Not to hijack this thread but does using sandboxie slow down a person's internet connection at all?

Not that I've noticed.

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+jnelsoninjax
1 hour ago, Nick H. said:

Make sure the account she uses is a standard account, and make sure that only a trusted friend or family member has the password to the admin account. That should help reduce the amount of things she installs, also possibly preventing a "technician" from installing something to remote into her computer.

I will ask my wife to do that, but I am not sure who she could trust with the admin account password, considering my wife will not be in the area (she is only visiting)

1 hour ago, Dick Montage said:

Drill it into her that the ONLY person to touch her computer other than her yourself and your wife.

 

Beyond that, there's little you can do beyond locking it down as noted above.

I really doubt she would listen, considering how easily she was conned out of a substantial amount of money (she has never told us how much she paid the scammer) and the fact that she is the type to believe everything that she is told reagardless of how stupid it is. Also she lives in Idaho, neither one of us are going to be close to her (wife is moving to Arizona with a friend, I am still in Florida)

59 minutes ago, DonC said:

Also consider using Sandboxie to isolate the browser. It's open source now and you don't have to pay for a licence any more:

 

https://github.com/sandboxie-plus/Sandboxie

 

The reason for doing this would be so that programs that are downloaded and installed are also isolated and clean-up is usually a lot easier afterwards.

So Sandboxie the browser? I never thought about that, will that have any impact on updating the browser, etc?

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+DonC
2 hours ago, jnelsoninjax said:

So Sandboxie the browser? I never thought about that, will that have any impact on updating the browser, etc?

I use it occasionally though mainly to check out random programs rather than day to day browsing. FireFox will update itself within Sandboxie just fine from my experience.

 

Using the same browser outside of Sandboxie can lead to it getting confused though. If you add the browser as a forced program (i.e. so that it always runs a sandbox) then it should be okay.

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goretsky

Hello,

 

Explain to your MIL about support scams.  People will call claiming to be from Apple, her bank, the computer manufacturer, the IRS, from Microsoft, from Windows, etc., and say that her computer has a virus, or she is under arrest for failing to pay taxes, or all sorts of other activities designed to scare the person being called and raise their anxiety level so they are not thinking clearly. 

 

She should never give her credit card number to any of these people, nor visit any websites they tell her to go to, download any software, and so forth.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

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devn00b

OK, I'll be that guy.

 

Install Linux. Most virii she would encounter would be worthless, ssh so you can login remotely and fix most issues. Linux desktops these days (xfce esp) are pretty close to windows in usage for most and some dont even notice.

 

My mother was a nurse for a long time, I installed nix on a ton of PC's at various Old folks homes and never got a complaint.

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Mindovermaster
1 hour ago, devn00b said:

OK, I'll be that guy.

 

Install Linux. Most virii she would encounter would be worthless, ssh so you can login remotely and fix most issues. Linux desktops these days (xfce esp) are pretty close to windows in usage for most and some dont even notice.

 

My mother was a nurse for a long time, I installed nix on a ton of PC's at various Old folks homes and never got a complaint.

Can't he just RPD in Windows? But, yeah, with Linux, there's not much you can/need-to do.

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devn00b
6 minutes ago, Mindovermaster said:

Can't he just RPD in Windows? But, yeah, with Linux, there's not much you can/need-to do.

I mean you can, but that is sorta like using a sledge hammer when all you need is a tack hammer.

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adrynalyne
1 hour ago, devn00b said:

OK, I'll be that guy.

 

Install Linux. Most virii she would encounter would be worthless, ssh so you can login remotely and fix most issues. Linux desktops these days (xfce esp) are pretty close to windows in usage for most and some dont even notice.

 

My mother was a nurse for a long time, I installed nix on a ton of PC's at various Old folks homes and never got a complaint.

I was with you until you mentioned SSH. I've yet to meet a distro that has a secure setup out of the box. That has its own security concerns. Best not poke the bear and leave that disabled.

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+BudMan
On 11/03/2021 at 06:21, jnelsoninjax said:

my MIL is illiterate

So you mean she is "computer" illiterate - or doesn't read the language the computer is using?  Not sure how useful a computer would be to someone that can not read at all?

 

Guess you could turn on say narration - like what vision impaired people use.. 

 

Just at a loss to what she is going to do with a laptop - if she can not even read?  Is it for some specific thing - like looking at pictures on facebook, or video calls?  Where she can be shown to just click specific icons?  Is it going to be used to help her to learn to read?

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+jnelsoninjax
2 minutes ago, BudMan said:

So you mean she is "computer" illiterate - or doesn't read the language the computer is using?  Not sure how useful a computer would be to someone that can not read at all?

 

Guess you could turn on say narration - like what vision impaired people use.. 

 

Just at a loss to what she is going to do with a laptop - if she can not even read?  Is it for some specific thing - like looking at pictures on facebook, or video calls?  Where she can be shown to just click specific icons?  Is it going to be used to help her to learn to read?

She can not read/write, she is able to recognize some names and words, but for the most part she is illiterate. She will be watching Netflix, and playing games (card I think) online. She does not want to learn to read/write my wife bought her Hooked on Phonics one year and she refused to even try to use it. I also have questioned why she wanted a computer if she can't read/write, so you are not the only one who thinks she should not have a computer. 

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+BudMan

If she wants to watch netflix - wouldn't that be better on a TV ;)  You can get a stick for like $20 ;)  Sure you can pick up a deck of cards for like a $1 ;)  Seems like a way better option then a laptop.. hehehe

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+warwagon
5 hours ago, jnelsoninjax said:

She can not read/write, she is able to recognize some names and words, but for the most part she is illiterate. She will be watching Netflix, and playing games (card I think) online. She does not want to learn to read/write my wife bought her Hooked on Phonics one year and she refused to even try to use it. I also have questioned why she wanted a computer if she can't read/write, so you are not the only one who thinks she should not have a computer. 

Well a regular computer user can read/write and still mess up their computer with adware / scams. She's just a normal computer user.

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