Security Setups for My Father-in-Law

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by Prototype0, Oct 4, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Prototype0

    Prototype0 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    Posts:
    13
    Hi Wilders,

    I have been trying to figure out the optimal free security setup for my Father-in-law (retired so $ is a big issue). He is completely PC illiterate and it terrifies me to even watch him use a PC. That being said, I am looking for some type of virtualization software, along with AV, that would represent the ideal solution for him. I am considering the use of Returnil or Time Freeze in conjunction with an AV like Avira (or perhaps a cloud AV like PrevX, Immunet or Panda) that would ensure he is protected. The goal here is to create a setup that he is unable to modify and that will let him know if there is a security issue. It has to be as user friendly as possible.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks
    Protoype0
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  2. Arin

    Arin Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2004
    Posts:
    997
    Location:
    India
    How about using a limited privilege a/c with Opera/FF and Avast Free? Avira might create an issue with FPs.

    If he is PC illiterate, I don't think he'll be able to do much damage with that setup.
     
  3. brainrb1

    brainrb1 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2010
    Posts:
    475
    a)Microsoft Security Essentials , Firefox with Adblock plus or Opera. Timefreeze set to delete on boot or sandboxie free .... or..b) Prevx safe online free (facebook) with MSE.:)
     
  4. m0unds

    m0unds Guest

    If he has broadband internet of some form, you could also see if maybe his ISP offers something good & user friendly for free. (Comcast offers norton 360 for example)
     
  5. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Posts:
    2,404
    >Microsoft Security Essentials (clear alerts - even a chimp could answer) setup like this so it scans everyday
    >Peerblock (ads and spyware list enabled - just those two, updates each day, enable run at startup, even just 'spyware' list enabled is enough as the ads setting can block some streaming videos)
    >Hitman Pro (startup scan).
    >Google Chrome browser (default browser) - with WOT extension installed.

    Hitman Pro will alert if anything out of the ordinary has slipped through. If something does, apply the cleanup, and look at getting hitman pro paid if continued infected files are found.

    Peerblock will block a lot of malicious sites, along with the WOT extension. WOT is absolutely fantastic, clear alerts, one of the best add-ons around (almost like a second virus scanner). Chrome, as people know, is not only easy to use, secure browser.

    Buy your father in law a portable external hard drive, ask him to save his documents, photos, music etc there regularly.

    Install revo uninstaller, add a desktop icon, and if any problems occur, ask him (say over the phone) to click on revo uninstaller, sort by date installed, and uninstall problem program - usually most recently installed program, say for example, today's date. Much easier than asking him to go to control panel etc (novices freak out with the word 'control panel').
     
  6. Hugger

    Hugger Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Posts:
    1,003
    Location:
    Hackensack, USA
    MSE, Sandboxie and Hitman Pro.
     
  7. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Posts:
    1,317
    Location:
    AmstelodamUM
    I recommend a friendly Linux OS version like Linux Mint.
    It's free, it's simple, it's safe and your FIL can do 'everything'; browse, email, use office apps, skype, music and movies etc.
    Few, if any popups to answer. Automatic firewall with IP-tables.
    No need for -scanners, -blockers, behaviour-, real-time-, cloud- or the likes.

    With a version like Mint 9, based on Ubuntu 10.04 (Long Term Support e.g. 3 years), he'll only have to enter a password at log-on and when updating.
    That's pretty much it regarding security.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  8. cheater87

    cheater87 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Posts:
    3,125
    Location:
    Pennsylvania.
    Chrome's WOT add on has no blocking feature just a warning one. I would go with Firefox for WOT which can block sites and Adblock Plus.
     
  9. Johnny123

    Johnny123 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    Posts:
    548
    Location:
    Bremen, Germany
    Here's a question: what is he going to do with it? I have found that most people in this category just want to surf the web and use email and maybe store their vacation pictures, etc.

    If that's the case, read Baserk's posting, #7, I fully agree. I set up a computer for someone similar with Linux Mint. After getting everything configured he uses it and everything he wants to do just works. People that are computer illiterate are oblivious to what OS is installed if they can do what they want to do with it.

    Advantages: It's free, as in libre and beer, no malware, no fudged up registries, no defragging, etc. This would also save you some time, in 30 or 40 minutes you have a complete, functional system with everything he will probably need installed by default.

    The alternative to that, if it really has to be Windows, would be a limited user account and a software restriction policy. Loading the system up with tons of security apps is probably not the answer for a complete n00b. Been there, done that. They often end up turning everything off because it's "annoying, the damn thing keeps saying it wants to update!". Strangely enough, those that can't figure out anything else on their own manage to turn off the security apps *puppy*
     
  10. atomomega

    atomomega Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Posts:
    1,285
    set his router on ClearCloud DNS and if you can spend $35 (one-time) then get Shadow Defender to enter shadow mode upon reboot. Just explain to him how to commit new files.
    And in order to avoid any A vs B comparison, just get any of the great free AV's and free FW's available out there.
     
  11. scott1256ca

    scott1256ca Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Posts:
    144
    For my mother, I set her up with
    WOT on firefox
    Comodo 3.1.something firewall and Defense+
    MSE
    LUA+SRP if XP
    or UAC if win7

    If your father in law downloads new software, or likes to update drivers for his hardware, then don't go with comodo. There will be too many popups, but if he doesn't do that, then you can tell him to block everything that pops up until you have a look at it. My mother almost never calls me to ask about popups, since she never installs her own software.
    You will also have to run all his software once and answer the popups yourself. This has the potential to cost you time. The popups are supposed to be reduced in 5.0 and the "sandbox" may give you what you need, but do some reading, since the sandbox isn't really a sandbox when it automatically isolates things. Personally, my limited experience with 5.0, I don't like the sandbox. I'd stay away from their AV. MSE is better, IMO.

    Of all the free AVs, MSE for me has the combination of protection, no annoyances and relatively light. It does increase boot time, though, but once updated doesn't seem to use many resources.

    If you want some browser virtualization, perhaps srware iron is a good bet. That will provide a sandbox for browsing which may be all you need.

    WOT added to the browser, and a bit of education on what it tells the user, I think is a really good idea. Most searches of google (you can set it up for scroogle also) will show some "green lights" which you can follow and just ignore the "red lights". I've found I've come to rely on it to stay away from "bad" websites or annoying ones.

    My problem with peerblock (I use it myself, but not my mother) is that it blocks a LOT of sites that are benign. Especially if you load anything more than one or two main lists. Lots of news sites get blocked and other sites which load some info from blocked 3rd party sites can take a long time to load. The default anti p2p and spyware, for example, blocks the golf channel, damn near anything to do with a government cnn etc. Sure you can unblock them, but he may find it a PITA.

    Don't run win7 so can't comment on UAC, but LUA and SRP on XP are great, I think. Again though, if your father in law installs his own stuff, it may be more trouble than it's worth.

    You could also turn off autorun. Some people like it. I just can't stand it. If I want to run something off a disk, I'll damn well navigate to it and execute it myself. I don't want it playing my music just because I put a disk in either, but that is my preference.
     
  12. cgeek

    cgeek Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Posts:
    328
    I was going to recommend the same! :thumb:
     
  13. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Posts:
    2,677
    i just recommend a decent security suite like for example you use kis or nis .....etc and make your browser sandbox by default and make it icon on desktop thats all you dont need any thing else.

    its more that enough

    second option

    use mint linux / pclinuxos .......etc
     
  14. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Posts:
    2,404
    Fair enough, I think the warning though should be enough. Also good to add SiteAdvisor for Chrome. Kees got me on to that one. :thumb:

    Between the two Chrome security extensions, peerblock and MSE, and ofcourse Hitman Pro on startup, I find it's more than adequate for a novice user. Either way, some good suggestions in this thread.

    WOT.png
    Mcafee.png
     
  15. Blueshoes

    Blueshoes Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    Posts:
    220
    Get him a Mac Mini and call it a day. Been there done that. Now I never get computer calls! He runs Intego VirusBarrier just to be safe for new Mac Trojans.

    http://www.intego.com/virusbarrier/

    .
     
  16. Prototype0

    Prototype0 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    Posts:
    13
    Thank you all for your suggestions.

    My Father-in-Law needs to be able to surf the web, read docs and spreadsheets, and read PDFs.

    I am currently considering the following setup:

    Windows XP w/SP3 (he already has an XP license)
    OpenOffice or LibreOffice
    PDFXChange Viewer
    Returnil (to keep things like new)
    Online Armor (for its HIPS ability. I will configure this for all his apps and then enable Returnil)
    Prevx SafeOnline (Facebook Edition)
    LUA and SRP
    SRWare Iron w/ WOT and SiteAdvisor.

    So what do the forum goers think of that configuration?
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  17. atomomega

    atomomega Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Posts:
    1,285
    Shadow Defender allows you to save stuff on-the-fly, also, unless you install an old version, Returnil's anti-malware module will give you/him headaches...
    You might want to reconsider this, OA's HIPS is very strong but kinda noisy for the regular user...
     
  18. Prototype0

    Prototype0 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    Posts:
    13
    Is there a free version of Shadow Defender? I know they have the 30 day trial.
     
  19. Boost

    Boost Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Posts:
    1,293
    trial only
     
  20. Fuzzydice45

    Fuzzydice45 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Posts:
    108
    Location:
    Australia
    I would highly recommend either linux mint, ubuntu or maybe even ubuntu netbook edition (for the easy interface).
    You wouldn't need any security apps, just make sure you enable the firewall.
    Very fast, very secure and they can do all of the things you listed.

    The only reason why i'm still using windows is for gaming, otherwise I would switch to linux in a heartbeat.
     
  21. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Posts:
    2,404
    If you're sticking with windows, Returnil I think could cause some concern for a novice. Windows updates will keep appearing, program updates will remain broken (adobe, flash, java), browser updates won't go through and so on.

    Father in-law might lose key documents, photos, won't know where to download these from again. Lose all his bookmarks etc.

    Don't get me wrong, returnil and shadow defender are fantastic programs for users who know what they're doing (installs, gaming, risky browsing, work systems, systems being used by the public), but always on, that's far from convenient.

    Stick to convenience and moderate security rather than the highest security and complete inconvenience. If you want better security for a novice, as others have recommended, get a mac, or switch to linux.
     
  22. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Posts:
    6,032
    Location:
    USA
    Returnil Free (with anti-execution protection on) + separate data partition for bookmarks, documents, etc + Prevx Free + Panda Cloud AV + limited user (or if using admin account on XP, then run browser as 'basic user') + Automatic Updates off + Windows Firewall
     
  23. Kyle1420

    Kyle1420 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Posts:
    479
    Linux can do all of those things... Mint would be perfect for your FiL.
     
  24. Kees1958

    Kees1958 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Posts:
    5,857
    An overkill?

    What are the specs of his PC (number of cores) and harddisk (I/O throughput in MB/s)

    Imaging that you keep everything default, I would go for a deny execute

    LUA + SRP (add Pretty Good Secrity of Sully) with deny execute

    Set DNS to Sunbelt clearcloud (filters on their servers, so does not hurt performance on his PC)

    Use IE8 (excellent smartscreen filter) plus PrevX Safeonline facebook (apply heuristics after AGE/Popularity, set AGE at max).

    Use libreoffice/openoffice whatever

    Start up scan with Hitman Pro

    Use a simple inbound firewall of Windows

    Idea behind this
    a) Staying out of trouble (DNS clear cloud, Google search, IE smartscreen and PrevX IP blacklist)
    b) Deny execute, when it does not install it can't do much harm
    c) Automatic protection for sensitive HTTPS trafic (PrevX)
    d) daily check by Hitman

    Alternative for IE8 with smartscreen is
    a) Chrome with SiteAdvisor and Wot
    b) Firefox with Noscript and https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/98431/ (Malware Hash Check as replacement for Smartscreen) + WOT
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.