Practical Technology

for practical people.

Protecting Mom’s PC


I have a dad, who thinks he knows computers, and he does know electronics, but software, well, that’s another story. I also have a mother-in-law, who’s both totally non-technical and she’s a native Spanish-speaker with little English and my Spanish is awful. They’re both bright people, but when it comes to computer security, they’re babes in the woods.

I’ve tried, just like I know many of you have with your computer na├»ve friends and relatives, to get them up to speed on PC security 101. I’ve installed anti-virus software, I’ve set their firewalls to keep out everything except e-mail and the Web; and told them that they must always update their computers. You know the drill.

And, of course, they still click on fake Web pages; and they click on the links in e-mails that purport to be from Hallmark and… Well, I don’t need to tell you the rest. You’ve been there, you’ve done that.

There is however an answer to this problem. A lot of you aren’t going to like it, but if you really are sick and tired of rescuing uncle Joe or Aunt Maude from their latest misadventure on the Internet, it’s time to switch them from Windows to Linux or a Mac.

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