Easy solution for elderly parent's PC?

Discussion in 'other anti-malware software' started by besafe, Dec 5, 2009.

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  1. besafe

    besafe Registered Member

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    My mother is 75 years old. She has a PC, it is connected to the Internet, but she knows nothing about how to use the machine other than to play games, read email, and shop on-line. She will also watch the occassional you tube video. I have tahught her to click "yes" when windows update and other software wish to update. I fear thaty possibly she clicks yes to the online stuff too. Additionally, all her grandkids use her PC when they spend the night and so do my siblings. There is always an extra toolbar or some software installed that I have never heard of when I go visit.

    There are also often viruses or spyware. I usually spend 30 minutes to an hour getting her PC back to normal once a month. I was thinking that it would be nice to simply boot back to a predetermined good state. For this, I thought RollbackRX or Comodo Time Machine might be a nice option. I have a few questions before trying either.

    1. For those that have tried both, which do you like better?
    2. If you rollback to a previous state, do you lose all youer windows security updates? If so, how can you fix this?
    3. Any other suggestions for this PC?

    I also would like to create a datapoint or rollback point for each user. So that the grandkids can just rollback to the way they like the PC configured then put it back to my moms rollback point when done. Same for my siblings.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

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    For PC's for the elderly I go with 2 options. 1. is rollback software, 2. is no hassle security software.

    For rollback software:
    1. I'd go with RX, it's a PC you won't be attending to often, you need something more time tested and less likely to have bugs. Rx is a far more mature product than time machine for this moment in time.
    2. Most rollback software has an exclusion option, I'm not personally familiar with RX, but I'm sure the function you want will most likely be in it.

    For security software:
    You want something basic simple with as low user input as possible, for this I personally believe Windows Firewall is perfect in combination with MSE. With this combo you should never have to worry about performing any maintenance on the PC in question, since they wont expire. Add to that the low user interference and it's a great combination.

    Wish you luck. :)
     
  3. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

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    For automatically quarantining viruses, simple automatic alerts, and no slowdowns on performance (games, shopping etc), I'd have to say Nod32.

    I tried it again recently, after using it years ago, and it is A+. Well priced too.

    Rather than the full suite with firewall, I'd give the trial of the AV version 4 a go. With the system inspector tool (in advanced mode) you'll be able to see the changes between now, and when you next visit. http://www.eset.com/

    And install a browser such as Google Chrome, so no toolbars can be installed. Just remove all the Internet Explorer icons from the desktop, and set Chrome as the default browser so it opens with any link, including links clicked on in msn messenger - by the grandkids. They won't be able to change much in Chrome either. I've tested chrome with banking, software sites, and so on, and in my experience, found it's even more compatible than firefox (others may disagree - but chrome just works). An experienced user here (the Tester) recommended http://www.chromeplus.org/ , and it has the feature to auto-delete temp files on exit. You could set it to just keep your mother's history to make it easier on her. I use this version, and so far so good.

    Or as the poster above mentioned, go for rollback software and Microsoft Security Essentials (easy to use just like Nod32).
     
  4. LaserWraith

    LaserWraith Registered Member

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  5. kjdemuth

    kjdemuth Registered Member

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    I've found that NIS 2010 is pretty "stupid" proof. I have it on my parents and in-laws computer. Not that I'm calling my in-laws stupid :)
     
  6. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    My recommendation would be shadowdefender as it is the simpliest of the rollback type programs. Fewest options, works fine.

    Pete
     
  7. jmonge

    jmonge Registered Member

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    returnil with antivirus engine;)
     
  8. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    In case you missed it, there are more comments regarding a similar request here.

    HTH

    philby
     
  9. cheater87

    cheater87 Registered Member

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    Install Web of Trust and put on max settings on block instead of warn. :) Then get Sandboxie and have the sandboxed browser as her default internet. Make sure its set to delete content when exiting and only things allowed internet access or the ability to run are the browser.
     
  10. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    This may not be the type of solution you were looking for but I'll offer the idea. I've been servicing the PC, XP-SP2, for a younger family member and his household for a while. They're not particularly smart about how they use it or who they let use it. It had the conventional AV based security, AntiVir with SAS run on a semi-regular basis. Cleaning that PC was becoming a regular task, but the last time it was a disaster. I had to remove the drive and clean it with my PC. Even then, it was a long, hard fight.

    After that last incident, we had a long talk and came up with an idea. I set up passworded user accounts for each of them plus a guest account. I installed all of the apps they used along with an alternate browser. Once it had everything that they wanted, I installed SSM and Kerio 2.1.5. It took a full day to make all of the rules and to get everything configured and up to date. Once that was done, I added passwords to SSM and Kerio, set them not to prompt, and backed up the registry with ERUNT before giving it back to them. I had to make one visit to make an adjustment to the settings. It's been over a month and the PC is exactly as it was when I gave it to them. They're happy with a clean, fast PC that does everything they want. A couple of their friends are griping, which tells me who was infecting it.

    It takes some time and a good discussion with the owner regarding their needs, but you can set a PC up with a default-deny policy that's tailored to the user. That will limit your service calls to an occasional trip for installing updates. With default-deny in place, immediate updating isn't as important as it is on PCs with default-permit based policies.

    Just an option you might want to consider with the apps of your choice. It's definitely not suited for all users, but for the type you describe, it's a viable option. I've done this with 3 PCs so far and the users are quite happy with it, except for one of their kids who can't install his P2P software.
     
  11. a320ca

    a320ca Registered Member

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    Ditto!
     
  12. illicit

    illicit Registered Member

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    Which AV engine does returnil use?
     
  13. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    F-Prot

    Blue
     
  14. illicit

    illicit Registered Member

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    Thanks :thumb:
     
  15. Miyagi

    Miyagi Registered Member

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    My Recommendation: All FREE! :)

    AV: MSE (free)
    By far the simplest to use with decent detection.

    Firewall: Use the Windows (free)
    I assume you are behind a router.

    Secunia PSI (free): http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/personal/
    This is a great tool to keep most of your software updated. Make sure to exit after doing the scan and the updates. No need to run in start-up or background.

    LogMeIn Free: https://secure.logmein.com/US/products/free/
    Another great free tool where you can connect remotely to your grandparent's PC if anything happens. You are in control. You don't need to visit them.

    If any infection happens, run Hitman Pro and Malwarebytes.

    EDIT: For Secunia PSI, I recommend you connect remotely via LogMeIn Free and perform the scan/updates. Enjoy. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  16. jmonge

    jmonge Registered Member

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    @illicit it is F-Prot
     
  17. nomarjr3

    nomarjr3 Registered Member

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    Simple and light protection.
    This combination will keep them safe without the hazard of them making wrong decisions in pop-ups from security software.


    DeepFreeze / Returnil / ShadowDefender
    Windows Firewall
    a-squared Anti-Malware (Surf Protection ALL set to "Block silently")
     
  18. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    I would not often recommend LUA+SRP, but since more than once person uses that computer it may make sense.

    Different accounts for everyone ?

    If the OS is Windows Home Editon I believe some registry tweaks are necessary.

    There are some variations on this. I have never tried this, so I can't really comment.

    'Rollbacks' are fine, but you need to keep in mind that between the start and end of each session the user is vulnerable to spyware. This is relevant for online banking/purchases.
     
  19. captainron

    captainron Registered Member

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    What is the operating system?

    It sounds like you have automatic updates and have shown her how to keep windows updated. If she is on Vista or Windows 7 I would teacher her what UAC is. Teach her about popups and how to respond to other popups, teach her how to stop online by looking at HTTPS and how to view the sites certificate. Give man fish they eat for a day, teach them how to fish they eat for a lifetime.

    Everything else should be set it and forget it. I'd use Windows Security Essentials and make sure automatic updates for that and a full scan each week is scheduled. I would set up a non admin account for regular use and instruct them to use that only. If they need an admin account write down the password but tell them to try to only use the standard limited user account. Use router as hardware firewall. Use Windows Firewall and keep the exceptions list as small as possible and don't allow exceptions. Enable DEP for all programs and services.
     
  20. arran

    arran Registered Member

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    Install and setup a anti executable program and create a white list of things that are allowed to run. and disable alerts, popups and password it. This way it keeps the pc clean in between DeepFreeze / Returnil / ShadowDefender image restores.
     
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