Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

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drewmo
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Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by drewmo » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:27 pm

My folks, both hitting 80 this year, are not new to computers, but still have a hard time understanding them. I've been tasked in helping them pick out a new computer. They use it primarily for email, travel arrangements, news, some word processing and photo organizing. They've only known Windows, so that's what I'm sticking with. I've had luck with Dell/Lenovo, so I'm confident I can find something reliable at a good price. My one area of lack of knowledge is with antivirus. What should I get for them, if anything at all? I hear Windows Defender is good, but they've always bought a subscription to Kaspersky or something else, so this is what they think they need. I just want to make sure it's worry free for them, is always updated and if they have to pay a yearly subscription, not the end of the world. What has worked for you, if you've been in a similar situation?

Nummerkins
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Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by Nummerkins » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:42 pm

Windows Defender. It doesnt expire and is built-in. No need to buy anything.

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David Jay
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Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by David Jay » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:59 pm

The biggest risk is links and attachments. They need to never click on a link or open an attachment in any email. ESPECIALLY if it is from an “important” financial relationship like their bank, the IRS, Medicare, etc. If they can internalize that one rule they can avoid most so called “phishing” attacks where most identies are stolen.

If they think something is real, go to the regular website and log in with their regular credentials. Do not click the link in the email.

[edit - added “attachments” from discussion below]
Last edited by David Jay on Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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drawpoker
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Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by drawpoker » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:52 pm

Microsoft Security Essentials is the Cadillac. It was introduced to cover the gaps that Windows Defender has.

Show your parents how to access the page to show that updates are being fed daily, or at times, hourly, to protect their computer. (Just make sure you have the updates feature set to "auto" mode :oops: )

Tip: Don't use the term "anti-virus" program to your folks. That's old school. The biggest risks now are coming from malware and that is what gives MSE superiority over Defender.

pdavi21
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Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by pdavi21 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:04 pm

External antivirus can sometimes cause problems on Windows 10 machines.

The best antivirus is a regular backup of your SSD on a secondary harddrive with bootable copy of Windows (you can get this free even with the OEM version of Windows). Once you get a virus, boot from the other drive (copy over any not backedup and not corrupted files) and format your primary drive. Virus gone.
"We spend a great deal of time studying history, which, let's face it, is mostly the history of stupidity." -Stephen Hawking

ejm009
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Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by ejm009 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:07 pm

Check with you Internet Service Provider, they may offer a reasonable commercial product for free.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by RickBoglehead » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:20 pm

drawpoker wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:52 pm
Microsoft Security Essentials is the Cadillac. It was introduced to cover the gaps that Windows Defender has.

Show your parents how to access the page to show that updates are being fed daily, or at times, hourly, to protect their computer. (Just make sure you have the updates feature set to "auto" mode :oops: )

Tip: Don't use the term "anti-virus" program to your folks. That's old school. The biggest risks now are coming from malware and that is what gives MSE superiority over Defender.
With W10, Defender is the best. MSE is for W7. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/hel ... s-download
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

drawpoker
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Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by drawpoker » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:33 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:20 pm
With W10, Defender is the best. MSE is for W7. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/hel ... s-download
Yes, that is correct - thanks. Wasn't sure if the OP had sold the old folks on the idea of upgrading to W10, tho. :?

josehde
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Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by josehde » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:56 pm

David Jay wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:59 pm
The biggest risk is links. They need to never click on a link in any email. ESPECIALLY if it is from an “important” financial relationship like their bank, the IRS, Medicare, etc. If they can internalize that one rule they can avoid most so called “phishing” attacks where most identies are stolen.

If they think something is real, go to the regular website and log in with their regular credentials. Do not click the link in the email.
Agree with this, far too many people fall for phishing. Going to the website directly is a a good habit to have.

NewOldGuy
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Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by NewOldGuy » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:17 pm

I have used Kaspersky Total Security and Malware Bytes together for a decade or so. Costs $40/yr for 5 devices. One PC, two laptops, two phones.

fwellimort
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Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by fwellimort » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:48 pm

1. Get an adblocker like UBlock Origin on your browser. Adblock Plus gets sponsored by some ads so it tends to show more ads than UBlock Origin.

2. Today's Windows 10 machines has Windows Defender on by default (and constantly automatically updated). It works great. Like.. really great. I haven't had any virus issues for a long time. I feel bad for all the anti-virus companies out there because it means more unemployment in that field.

3. Get an anti-malware. Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware. Write a guide (with screenshots) or whatever and teach them how to run it once a month. Or just pay its subscription for no head-ache. It just works. Best bang for your buck out there. Malwarebytes is leading in anti-malware. Fascinating product. Malwarebytes alone probably means no visits to your local repair shop.

4. Use Google Chrome. I hate to admit but Google does well preventing viruses [at the expense of the company data mining everything from what you type, to your voice records, to your youtube preferences, to your private browsings, your banks, your investments, your brokerages, where you walked, etc. They had voice recordings of me from even 9 years ago and a daily map of what I do everyday even without GPS. It tracks even sites that isn't google. I don't understand how all this is legal but that's a whole another issue].
>> In fact chrome://settings/cleanup , Google Chrome has an in-built anti-virus scanner too.

5. ^ If you don't like all that, use Firefox but Google will data mine you regardless. Google web crawler is basically in every publicly accessible page. I still personally don't understand how all this is legal. And there's been claims in the internet that Google purposely throttles down its servers on non-Chrome browsers recently. Again, if true would be illegal but no one really has access to the code base. Not even the government currently.

6. Inform your parents about not clicking links in e-mails, etc. Or again, just use G-mail in which Google filters quite well at the expense of data mining your life.

7. Don't take #4, 5, 6 seriously.
Honestly, a simple #1 is good enough. Windows 10 comes with a great anti-virus that constantly gets auto-updated.
Malwarebytes AntiMalware could be worth investing in. $40 a year and pretty much no head-ache from your parents. Astounding anti-malware product.

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drewmo
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Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by drewmo » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:34 am

Thanks, all. Really good information. They don't need anything fancy, just something that works reliably. It'll be a Windows 10 machine. Thanks again.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:36 am

drewmo wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:34 am
Thanks, all. Really good information. They don't need anything fancy, just something that works reliably. It'll be a Windows 10 machine. Thanks again.
Then they are all set because Defender is perfect. Simply delete the bloatware before they use it.

Seniors have a big problem handling the following:

1) Opening emails with attachments. Even if the email is from someone you know, are you expecting an attachment? If not, then sending back an email saying "Bob, I got an email from you with an attachment. Is this legit?" is the best way to handle this. Unfortunately, too many seniors can't get this through their thick skulls (I speak from experience).

2) Clicking on links in email. Never, ever do this.

I've gone over both of these things with my mother (and her former partner), and all they do is argue about how then they wouldn't see the latest joke or similar. My solution with my mother was to ensure she has no online access to any of her financial accounts. Nor does she know passwords or secret answers.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

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midareff
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Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by midareff » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:44 am

I use Windows Defender along with Malwarebytes Premium on all our computers. It may not make them any safer than Defender alone but I feel better about it.

BTW.. I NEVER open links or attachments from anyone regardless if I know them or not and anyone who would send me something like that knows it.

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CardinalRule
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Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by CardinalRule » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:20 am

The main risk for my aging parents seems to be phishing emails and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) from clicking on links as they explore the web (news and social sites, Google results, etc.). I took away their administrator rights on the Windows 10 PC that I picked out for them a couple of years ago and installed Malwarebytes Premium (I have a three-computer license) in addition to the built-in Defender. I set their spam control settings as high as possible and have been experimenting with MailWasher Free. Finally, and in some ways most importantly, I use Chrome Remote Desktop to periodically check in and to help with any questions or problems they are having (they live in another state).

ubermax
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Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by ubermax » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:24 am

midareff wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:44 am
I use Windows Defender along with Malwarebytes Premium on all our computers. It may not make them any safer than Defender alone but I feel better about it.

BTW.. I NEVER open links or attachments from anyone regardless if I know them or not and anyone who would send me something like that knows it.
+1 Exactly what I'm doing with the Malwarebytes subscription for two machines , very reasonably priced also .

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sunny_socal
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Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:25 am

You're sticking with Windows? Without a doubt the worst possible solution if you're worried about crapware and viruses.

I would pick from these:
[1] A PC-based laptop with linux Mint installed. It's "free" if you already have a laptop. Just install a couple browsers and make sure they work.
[2] A Chromebook. The easiest option and very affordable.
[3] A Mac. Expensive but you won't have viruses.

Luke Duke
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Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by Luke Duke » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:06 am

fwellimort wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:48 pm
Get an anti-malware. Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware. Write a guide (with screenshots) or whatever and teach them how to run it once a month. Or just pay its subscription for no head-ache. It just works. Best bang for your buck out there. Malwarebytes is leading in anti-malware. Fascinating product. Malwarebytes alone probably means no visits to your local repair shop.
This is what I do. I have a subscription for myself which allows me to protect 3 computers. Theirs is one of them. It has drastically reduced the number of IT calls. My problem is getting them to leave the computer on so they don't miss any scans.

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DragonJoey3
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Re: Worry free antivirus for my parent's computer

Post by DragonJoey3 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:06 am

I would agreed with doing a Chromebook for them. They are more reasonable and far less susceptible to viruses. It's essentially a "Just get me to the internet" device, which seems to fit the use case. It is what I have personally done for my parents even though I work in computer security and they love it. I just got tired of trying to secure a computer from their own tendency to follow click-bait, and I think a Chromebook works well for them.

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