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Hak5 Mid Month Contest


Darren Kitchen
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Grandma's a noob. But it's not her fault. When she grew up a terminal where you boarded a bus and a server brought you food.

So, if you could give one piece of advice to your grandmother to make her computing experience more secure, what would it be?

(And no, grandma aint setting up IPTABLES)

Booya Grandma!

Best answer wins unique forums membership upgrade.

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<obvious>

Set up and idiot proof Ubuntu for her. Put icons on her desktop for all her common tasks. Ensure she does not know the Administrator password. Create a ghost image of her setup while it's working and store offsite.

</obvious>

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Pop next door for coffee and cake and while you're there, fiddle with the router settings while Dora's boiling the kettle on the stove...

This way you'll get your internet for free and... oh... that's not any more secure than... nvm... ;)

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Grandma's a noob. But it's not her fault. When she grew up a terminal where you boarded a bus and a server brought you food.

So, if you could give one piece of advice to your grandmother to make her computing experience more secure, what would it be?

(And no, grandma aint setting up IPTABLES)

Booya Grandma!

Best answer wins unique forums membership upgrade.

ive been here. I had a releative who whenever i would go back to her computer it would be blue screening. No matter what I did the pop-ups would be there. So i did this:

Installed zonealarm (I used this because it pre-selects shit like 'svchost.exe'), spybot (it intergrates with I.E and blocks 'bad stuff') and all the mozilla stuff. Then i moved the router near the computer and told her to plug this in when you want to use the internet. She forgot a few times but this worked. She actaully thinks of it in the same way as switching of the light to save power. meh, what do i care..i havnt been called up since.

I know it goes against the point of having an always on connection..but..... *mecca-meh*

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searous attempt: is you get an e-mail from anyone asking ANYTHING delete the e-mail, if it has an attachment, its not for you, dont open mail not addressed to you. everything has an AD attached to it, dont click anything that flash's

Enjoy

(and ill give her darrens phone number)

not so searous attempt: find a copy of dos and tell her "Its as old as you, you should be able to run it"

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Explain to her that the internet is not like a truck, it's like a bunch of tubes.

Those damn tubes!

j/k

Advise her to never open up email that she never asked for or doesn't know who it's from, but, if she does that you'll fix it when she screws her pc over. Being the nice grandson you are.

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I like to set up a few icons on the desktop; copy firefox a few times and add the website to the end of the target

e.g. "C:Program FilesMozilla Firefoxfirefox.exe" https://www.gmail.com

Then rename it email, or something. This makes it really easy to use.

But since you asked for advice I would say that she shouldn't open any emails from people she does not know.

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Grandma's a noob. But it's not her fault. When she grew up a terminal where you boarded a bus and a server brought you food.

So, if you could give one piece of advice to your grandmother to make her computing experience more secure, what would it be?

(And no, grandma aint setting up IPTABLES)

Booya Grandma!

Best answer wins unique forums membership upgrade.

I would suggest a Mac because in a home environment they work best, however Grandmas usually don't have a ton of money laying around. So I'd recommend a windows computer, loaded with MS defender, spybot search and destroy, spywareblaster, adaware (paid version), zone alarm and Symantec AV Corporate version (less stupid pop-ups).

Then I'd actually suggest DSL (with a secured CoyoteLinux box or something similar) only because all of those pictures coming from grandchildren can be rather large and it'll mean less waiting.

or.....

I could just give her a Intel 386 with 4MB of RAM running Windows 3.1 with no internet access and tell her that its as good as it gets.

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Depends if grandma uses her computer much really. I've never bought that "i'm to old to learn" line, so if my older relatives want a computer they've gotta learn how to use it.

ya good idea.. "here grandma I got you a copy of OpenBSD it very good for computers enjoy..... don't forget Grandma RTFM"

But i do agree with you Vako (pronunced Vaaa-Co or Vac-Co?) but it should be somthing that is ID-10-T Error less and somthing like linux with all the bells and whistles but a nice GUI and a good SSH for root so you don't have to come over to fix the computer or install software for the nice compy

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My Grandma is the complete opposite. She tries to fix everything on her own and reads everything to figure out how to do it. She's like 58 now. She figures that she's still got a lot to learn and it interesting. Yes she's a different breed.

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Nah, not openBSD or that shit. But if there on the net a lot, they should use firefox and have a modicum of sense. IE the talking moose on www.bonzabuddy.tk does not need your credit card details. I know for a fact that you can use windows and remain virus/crapware free, its just a case of understanding whats a good idea, and whats a bad idea.

One the things that turns a lot of old people away from computers is to do with there childhoods. Go back 50-70 years, and you had a lot of mechanical stuff that was dangerous to play with. Fuck something up and you've lost an arm or worse. So when it comes to computers they apply the same logic to it, if they fuck something up, something Really Bad will happen to them. So they tend to avoid playing with things.

All we need to do, is help them understand that computers aren't that scary, if you can run windows and avoid all that spyware and virus crap, so can they. Make them understand that if Mayble suddenly sends them a exe file in there email, they shouldn't run it. Tell them to avoid IE6, and use firefox, to use a decent firewall, antivir, and anti-crapware stuff. Show them how to do it.

Giving them linux is kinda useful, but they may have problems when they want to use the same software as there friends or install drivers for there new scanner. If they have to start using the CLI for ANYTHING, linux isn't suitable for them. If you've had to talk a n00b threw ipconfig /all on windows, you will understand it. We can look at it, and know in seconds where there problems are, to them its nonsense.

So yeah, if its just email, web and office, linux will work ok for them. The type of system they want could practically be a liveCD linux with /home on a flashstick. If they want to do more than this, your're going to run into problems. Linux isn't that user friendly yet, even ubuntu.

Its all about finding a solution for them, not shoehorning your latest ideas about OSS politics onto a system for them.

(oh and its prn. Vay-Ko, hard k)

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My Grandma is the complete opposite. She tries to fix everything on her own and reads everything to figure out how to do it. She's like 58 now. She figures that she's still got a lot to learn and it interesting. Yes she's a different breed.

:shock:

my father is 58 (no shit!)

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