I'm setting up a new laptop for my aunt - privacy and security config advice?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by ltheonestar, Dec 24, 2019.

  1. ltheonestar

    ltheonestar Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Posts:
    14
    Location:
    Spring, TX
    Hello and greetings,

    Happy holidays. I am gifting a windows laptop, a basic one, HP, I can find the specs to my Aunt.

    She will use the laptop for basic web browsing and the occasional use of MS Word, Excel and to store files e.g. PDFs, etc. Things that cannot be done too easily with a tablet.

    I want to secure her laptop, yet make it usable enough so that she does not hit a road block in case she needs to use cookies or java script etc. Or Maybe have two different configs?

    I read a fair bit on here and while I am not advanced enough to put sandboxes, VPNs etc. I tend to use privacy add ons for web browsing and some basic privacy and AV tools like key scrambler, malware bytes etc.

    What do you think is a good privacy/security setup for a 50+ year old low to medium usage user?

    Thank you and much appreciated.
     
  2. reasonablePrivacy

    reasonablePrivacy Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2017
    Posts:
    1,049
    Location:
    Member state of European Union
    If she don't have time or will to learn then I doubt you can provide her much more secure setup than standard: some AV + backup solution + maybe ransomware protection + maybe content blocking extension for browser such as uBlock (and teach how to disable uBlock for specific site). You can add some additional tweaks inside OS, Office and PDF reader.
     
  3. Brummelchen

    Brummelchen Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Posts:
    3,153
    get her linux, softmaker office free and some pdf viewer.
    it does not make sense to install windows for someone who is total unaware of security and details of an OS.

    if windows, install aomei free or macrium reflect free as (a weekly!) backup service - very important, those people screw too much without knowledge, image is easy way for you to get stable again.
     
  4. Beyonder

    Beyonder Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Posts:
    545
    Easy way: Just give her a limited account, without any admin access.
    Plus brownie points:
    Install Office 365 or LibreOffice
    Make her use Edge or Chrome, as they use sandboxing
    Install Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit, to protect her programs from exploits. It's install and forget, so don't worry about it.
    Consider denying UAC prompts by default
    For LibreOffice/VLC/etc updates you can use Patch My PC. That way, updates are run automagically in the background.

    For adblocking, I recommend Nano Adblocker and Nano Defender. Combined, they block ads and prevent "Please turn off adblock to use this site" messages from appearing.
     
  5. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2002
    Posts:
    6,822
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Email: PopPeeper (set it to receive headers only, plain text only. Teach her when to open e-mail based on a header, & when not. Teach her when to convert plain text to HTML & when not.)
    Firewall: Windows FW
    Internet security: Malwarebytes Anti-exploit
    Real-time security: VoodooShield
    On-demand AV scanner: Emsisoft Emergency Kit (EEK)
    Imager: Macrium Reflex
    External Hard Drive: Toshiba 2 Terabytes

    Scan daily with EEK. Image C-drive every M-W-F to Toshiba HD & retain images at least 6 weeks (first-in, first out). NOTE: Imaging is THE singularly most important security action, bar none.

    Aloha from Hawaii,
    bellgamin
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2019
  6. reasonablePrivacy

    reasonablePrivacy Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2017
    Posts:
    1,049
    Location:
    Member state of European Union
    It doesn't prevent infection. It sometimes helps when malware autodetects it runs as non-admin account and removes itself. For average skilled user it is good combined with backup solution, because it will prevent damage to the system in >99% cases (to harm up-to-date system it needs 0-day privilege escalation exploit which is extremely rare), but will not prevent damage to user-writable files. It also reduces ways to evade real-time AV protection.
     
  7. liba

    liba Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Posts:
    298
    Firstly, If you bought an Intel cpu, no security for you. Replace with AMD.
     
  8. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Posts:
    4,821
    Location:
    USA still the best. But getting worse!
    I think most windows users are doomed to get infected. Any good solutions will require interactions. Either the end user, remotely or both.

    But ime the best shot at security for those who don't want to bothered to learn is Linux.

    2nd place & this is where the real grumbling starts. 2nd place to BitDefender Total Security. For the noob it is as the name suggests Total Security. For the educated or somewhat educated in computer security BDTS can be seen at times as invasive.
     
  9. Beyonder

    Beyonder Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Posts:
    545
    You can easily combine it with limited rights so that grandma can't screw up the computer by running downloaded .exes. It's the simplest way, really.
     
  10. longshots

    longshots Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Posts:
    196
    Location:
    Australia
    And, because these questions always veer way off topic, as well as the privacy and security you might like to consider some Remote Access Software. As @Beyonder mentioned about grandma screwing up the computer, this can become a real problem - I have first hand knowledge of this.
     
  11. ltheonestar

    ltheonestar Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Posts:
    14
    Location:
    Spring, TX
    Thank you all, I am going to read through these and will get back shortly.

    Which browser do you all recommend? Edge? I presume I should add on Ghostery, Ublock origin, Https always, and other add ons?
     
  12. ltheonestar

    ltheonestar Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Posts:
    14
    Location:
    Spring, TX
    Thank you! I have used Team Viewer for remote desktop before, but usually when a third party is troubleshooting some software on my computer, (a trusted third party) but maybe that is not the best option for remote access to 'grandmas' computer?

    Any suggestions on remote access software to consider?
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Posts:
    10,600
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    I'd just give her Win10 and make a backup image. No extra software.
     
  14. Freki123

    Freki123 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Posts:
    97
    Atleast use ConfigureDefender and set it on "High" and an adblocker. High shouldn't break any software.
     
  15. Bertazzone

    Bertazzone Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Posts:
    279
    Location:
    Milan, Italia
    Definitely this. I did it for a relative's laptop. Have them use Edge Chromium and/or Brave - both have built-in adblockers. Add MBAE only if you're willing to guide them through occasional updates or do updates yourself. Keep it simple.
     
  16. login123

    login123 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Posts:
    159
    +1. I did this for family members who are too busy. Also, would arrange for it to back to an external hdd which could be unplugged & so protected. Space is cheap these days.
    Apologies for kibitzing, Brain.
     
  17. reasonablePrivacy

    reasonablePrivacy Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2017
    Posts:
    1,049
    Location:
    Member state of European Union
    Do not add that many extensions. uBlock Origin is enough and show her how to disable it on per-site basis when needed.
     
  18. ltheonestar

    ltheonestar Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Posts:
    14
    Location:
    Spring, TX
  19. Freki123

    Freki123 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Posts:
    97
    Yes thats it. AndyFul is the developer of this lovely program :)
    You can see the other programms he created on hard-configurator.com
     
Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.