I need to make my parents' computer father-proof.
November 7, 2011 5:34 PM Subscribe
How do I keep my father from wrecking his computer - again?
posted by koucha to technology (27 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I bought my parents a computer last year, but tonight I am restoring it to factory settings for the third time due to bizarre computer appearance and behavior likely the result of malware. No matter what programs I install on the computer to protect against malware and virii (I have tried ZoneAlarm, Avast, AdAware, Microsoft Security Essentials, and Spybot Search and Destroy) it hasn't worked. I believe it is because my father refuses to practice good net hygiene and ignores or refuses to remember training and advice that I give him about avoiding malware. He opens spam messages, clicks on pop-ups that tell him he has a virus, and browses adult websites frequently (I know this because I have seen his browser history while the computer was still working). My mother refuses to use the computer for reasons that she won't explain, and I think that my father's uses are why. It has become very frustrating for me, because I bought my parents the computer so that they could become more familiar with technology and do things like look for jobs, but instead my mother seems alienated and my father doesn't care what happens.
I have tried to set up the computer (a PC laptop running Windows 7) so that it will update and protect without input from my parents (because my father won't do it), and I have some computer know-how, but I need ideas for new solutions. The preexisting advice on Google, such as making him use Gmail in Firefox, only installing necessary programs and it has not worked. I have no desire to pay for a solution, and installing Linux would probably prevent my father from using it (though this is not sounding like such a bad idea now). My father's attitude and stubbornness makes me want to tell him to look for help elsewhere the next time his computer becomes unusable.
Thank you in advance.