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a way to old-people (or child) proof your web browser?


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28 replies to this topic

#1 veltronix

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 11:43 AM

Hello all you bleeping people, I am a technical support and computer repair professional, among other things, and one of my clients will not stop clicking anything he sees... every month or less I get a service call to his house about how slow and unresponsive his computer is, and naturally he blames me first because I was the last to service his machine, then I show up only to find that his machine has been re-populated with hundreds of adware, spyware, trojan, and even root-kit infested software and files... EVERY TIME. 
 
So, as much as I like to make the $100-$200 every time I set foot in his house, I would really like to find a program or browser extension that will block reported malicious sites and downloads with a warning, I know a lot of anti-virus programs will do this but I'm just wondering if anyone here has some insight as to what the best software / extensions are at this point in time... This has to be one of the most common problems we support professionals come across ever since the internet existed, so I feel as if there has to be some sort of resolution to this by now.
 
Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Edit: Moved topic from Windows 7 to the more appropriate forum.~ Animal

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 02:00 PM

Well...in dealing with friends (I don't have the skill to repair for dough)...I've found that the best lessons learned for some people...comes only when they realize that THEY are the problem, not the system, not the Internet :).

 

With these, after they show no interest in doing the right things...I just wipe their systems and tell them that the only way to overcome all the debris which they have allowed on the computer...is a complete wipe-and-reinstall.  Naturally, this distresses them because they haven't bothered to backup anything.

 

Unbeknownst to them...I have already made a clone of their Windows partition and any other partitions.  So...I have everything as it was when it came to me.

 

After I tell them the "bad news" about the clean install...I let that sink in for a few hours...until they call me back inquiring as to what they can do to prevent such in the future.  I give them a few basics (backing up, critical updates, installing/updating/using AV, etc....and then set a time when they can pick up their systems.

 

If I've been able to negate what was wrong...I give them the system back with an unexpected bonus of their lost data and lost programs.  If not, I give them what resurrection I could accomplish and reinforce how they can avoid such in the future.

 

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#3 quietman7

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 05:10 PM

There are numerous Parental Tools to restrict access to the Internet and monitor child activity but I don't think the elderly would be too happy with any of those.

You could install SpywareBlaster which will help some. It is a program that restricts the actions of potentially dangerous sites by adding a list of sites and domains associated with known spyware, advertisers and marketers to the browser's "Restricted Sites Zone". SpywareBlaster prevents the installation of ActiveX-based malware, browser hijackers, dialers, and other potentially unwanted software and blocks tracking cookies. SpywareBlaster also includes the ability to keep encrypted backup copies of the Hosts file so if its altered by malware infection, you can easily restore a good backup copy.

Unlike many other security tools, SpywareBlaster is not intrusive as it does not run in the background...it focuses on prevention and passive protection without utilizing unnecessary running processes or consuming system (CPU, memory) resources. The program only requires installation and then enabling of all protection. After that you only have to check periodically for database updates using the built-in "Check for Updates" feature and then enable all protection again. Since SpywareBlaster does not use a real-time protection module, it supplements your existing security software without causing any conflicts. SpywareBlaster can be used with Internet Explorer and many other popular browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Netscape, Seamonkey, Flock and several more (see here).

For more information, see:
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#4 scotty_ncc1701

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 06:35 PM

Hello all you bleeping people, I am a technical support and computer repair professional, among other things, and one of my clients will not stop clicking anything he sees... every month or less I get a service call to his house about how slow and unresponsive his computer is, and naturally he blames me first because I was the last to service his machine, then I show up only to find that his machine has been re-populated with hundreds of adware, spyware, trojan, and even root-kit infested software and files... EVERY TIME. 
 
So, as much as I like to make the $100-$200 every time I set foot in his house, I would really like to find a program or browser extension that will block reported malicious sites and downloads with a warning, I know a lot of anti-virus programs will do this but I'm just wondering if anyone here has some insight as to what the best software / extensions are at this point in time... This has to be one of the most common problems we support professionals come across ever since the internet existed, so I feel as if there has to be some sort of resolution to this by now.
 
Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Edit: Moved topic from Windows 7 to the more appropriate forum.~ Animal

 

Believe me that I feel for you.  I have friends that I've helped, they agree not to mess around with the security settings, then they do, and I get the blame.  Heck, I've even been blamed that on getting onto their system, when we were in town, with no access to computers.  I got the blame, but I had receipts proving where I was at, and they continued to refuse to accept responsibility.  One of the "friends" lives several thousand miles away!

In my opinion, here is what you should do:

1.  Document the changes you made in pain staking detail.

2.  Have the customer sign a document to this effect, and give him/her a copy.

3.  The next time he/she calls, make sure you have the document available.  If they changed things again, document the changes again, and if the changes he/she made are what you documented, bring this to his/her attention, and then charge him/her more, or refuse the service.

4.  You have to remember, that locking down the browser (or any part of the computer), isn't ethical, and MAYBE ILLEGAL, depending on where you're at, since the property isn't yours.  Remember, it is the customer's property, and they have the right to make any changes they want.  The best you can do, is to set the browser and/or computer up the best you can, document it, and let the customer hang themselves.  If then they make the changes, refuse to help, or charge them out of the (bleep).

Have a great day!

:bananas: :bounce:



#5 scotty_ncc1701

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 06:37 PM

I only agree with you in part, and I've said before when talking about malware/viruses.  Once infected, wipe the system.

As for "Unbeknownst to them...I have already made a clone of their Windows partition and any other partitions".  Doing this, without the knowledge of the owner isn't right, even if it is only the basic programs and settings.

Simply put, if the person refuses to stop changing things, refuse to help.  This will make them get others to help, or take it to a computer shop for help.  Read other posts I've made, and you'll see that is what I do, no matter what it costs the other person.  Think about it.  At a store here, a person can get a good computer for about $300.  So, depending on the repair shop, and the costs, at least two trips to the repair shop will cost the same as a new computer, if they don't learn to quit messing around.

Have a great day!

:bananas: :bounce:



#6 cmptrgy

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 07:26 PM

"naturally he blames me" I can relate to that

Unfortunately in your case, only you can tell, you might have to  tell that person he can go elsewhere.

I don't do this as a business but here is what I do for everyone I help

On the first visit I ask them if I can create a file on their computer in order to record whatever gets done and why. Then I let them know I want a printed copy for my records. If they don't agree to that, I do not continue and will leave; however, I haven't had a problem with that yet. Upon completion, I will review what took place but that has to be done in an understandable manner but that extra 10 minutes is a good thing to do. I'll ask them any questions? This is where I hand write their questions and also hand write my answers and print a copy for me. No one signs anything but I do include the date and time. I also request a "tune-up" appointment in 3 months. Some accept - some don't - their decision. I also show them my portable external hard drive and ask them if I can create an image on it but no one has accepted that yet - no time - again that's their decision. One time I did have someone ask me to back up their pictures; Hallelujah that works for me.

I started that system back in the Windows 98SE days.



#7 quietman7

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 07:40 PM

No amount of security software is going to defend against today's sophisticated malware writers for those who do not practice safe computing and stay informed. It has been proven time and again that the user is a more substantial factor in security than the architecture of the operating system or installed protection software.

Nothing speaks as loud as having to pull out "greenbacks" from your wallet and give them to someone else. On the repair order receipt include a bolded note that cleaning a reinfection will be double the cost next time around.
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#8 scotty_ncc1701

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 08:47 PM

No amount of security software is going to defend against today's sophisticated malware writers for those who do not practice safe computing and stay informed. It has been proven time and again that the user is a more substantial factor in security than the architecture of the operating system or installed protection software.

Nothing speaks as loud as having to pull out "greenbacks" from your wallet and give them to someone else. On the repair order receipt include a bolded note that cleaning a reinfection will be double the cost next time around.

 

It's kinda funny (strange), that after my last post, I got a call from a friend that seems to be infected, at least from his description.  He asked if I could help, and he's bringing his computer over Saturday (2014_08_02).  However, he was advised:

1.  That if his computer is infected, it will be a complete wipe of his system, no matter if it is one virus/malware.
1.1.  When I reset his system, it will be to the "bare bones" configuration.  Some manufacturers have two configs on the restore partition.
1.1.1.  Barebones - Just the OS, and selected programs.
1.1.2.  Full - The OS and all the "cr*pware".

2.  I would only help him, if he agreed to the following being installed at the minimum:
2.1.  Avast.
2.2.  Malware Anti-malware.
2.3.  Firefox, with certain addons.
2.4.  Personal Firewall 7.
2.5.  Super AntiSpyware.
2.6.  Several of my programs I wrote:
2.6.1.  InetChk - Sits in the tray, and periodically checks the internet connection, and logs the results to a text file.
2.6.2.  PassGen - Password generation.
2.6.3.  FileDate - Change Filedate.
2.6.4.  DelEmptyFol - Scans for, and deletes empty folders.

3.  He had to have an external drive for me to image his "C" drive with Macrium, and if he didn't, I couldn't help him.

4.  He had to provide two new, unopened (in the package), USB flash drives, at least 16GB each, that I could transfer files TO HIS COMPUTER, and backup data under "my documents" and "my music" only.  He would be given the USB flash drives back, when I was done.  If there are other files he wants backed up, he must put it in writing.

5.  For me to reinstall any programs:
5.1.  If it is retail (e.g. Office) - He must provide me the ORIGINAL CD/DVDs, or the program(s) will not be installed.
5.2.  If it is shareware (downloaded from the Internet) - he must provide me the link to the program, and a copy of his license information, printed out.  If he can't or won't provide it, it will not be installed.
5.2.  If it is freeware (downloaded from the Internet) - he must provide me the link to the program.  If he can't or won't provide it, it will not be installed.

6.  He'll need to sign a document about the above, plus the stipulation, that if he changes any security settings, although it is is right, because it is his computer, I will not help him in the future.

Some might think that the terms are unreasonable.  I think not, because:

1.  I'm not charging the friend for the help.
2.  If I don't help, he'll have to find help elsewhere, which will could include a chuck of money.

After this thread, and what happened with others I've helped, I've decided to work on a written agreement (it will more in detail than the above).  In fact, a years ago, when I thought of starting a computer repair business, I had written up a contract.  I just found it, so I'm going to modify it to cover helping "friends" instead of customers, although the terms will be almost the same.

Have a great day!
:bananas: :bounce:



#9 quietman7

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 07:34 AM

There is little room for debate using written agreements where terms and conditions are explicitly laid out.
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#10 Guest_ArisMFighter_*

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 09:23 AM

Hi.A very great add-on/extension to protect browsers is the Traffic Light by Bitdefender.

It is available for Chrome,Firefox and Safari and it protects you from malicious sites,phising sites and it has link scanner for facebook and twitter.

download link :http://www.bitdefender.com/solutions/trafficlight.html



#11 scotty_ncc1701

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 12:09 PM

Well, he didn't bring the stuff until about 30 minutes ago; and he didn't bring and external USB HDD drive for me to image his computer, and expected me to use one of mine.  I told him to take his computer back, and fix it on his own, or take it to a shop.  He told me that the only option he had, if I didn't help was to take it to a computer shop about 2 hours (one way) away.  With gas and the estimated repair cost, it would cost him around $325.  Hope he drives carefully.

Have a great day!
:bananas: :bounce:



#12 quietman7

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 09:19 PM

As I said before...nothing speaks as loud as having to pull out "greenbacks" from your wallet and give them to someone else.
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#13 worried dragon

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 09:46 AM

This topic is very close to home for me at the moment. Dealing with elderly MIL with diagnosed short term memory loss and a FIL who hates anything computer with a vengeance.

 

She manages to delete or disable good stuff and accept pretty much anything else. Shes signed up to lots of stuff and then forgotten, we set her up with a notebook taped to the laptop with email account passwords etc but she threw that away. Even the best (or at least the least intrusive) of the internet security packages needs some interaction at some point and shes got a 50/50 chance of clicking the right option.

 

As the moderator pointed out these are not children and they have the absolute right to create their own havoc. :smash:



#14 JohnC_21

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 09:58 AM

For people like that I would use Deep Freeze. No matter what is changed, upon reboot the computer is back to it's previous state.

 

Our reboot to restore software provides the ultimate protection to your Windows PCs and keeps it running like new for years to come. Once you have configured your PC the way you want, simply Freeze it. Then watch it work. Any accidental or unwanted changes are all erased with one simple reboot.

 

 

http://www.faronics.com/products/deep-freeze/standard/



#15 worried dragon

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 10:06 AM

Is that amateur (me) user friendly John?

 

And what happens when for instance ms updates need to be installed, does it automatically allow for that?


Edited by worried dragon, 20 August 2014 - 10:08 AM.





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