Saving Users From Themselves

This forum contains discussions related to keeping families and individuals safe while making use of technology. Acceptable topics would range from how to protect families from Internet predators and online pornography, monitoring and protecting cell phone usage and text messaging, locking unwanted television and movies from various devices, protecting and monitoring computer game usage, and promoting safe Internet and technology use.
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jltware
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Saving Users From Themselves

Postby jltware » Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:12 pm

One problem I have had with some members in our ward is that the parents are about as tech savvy as my grandmother (and she's dead) and the kids a good deal smarter. I have been around a couple of times and set up the computer with antivirus, firewall and internet filter. However, the kids still manage to get the computer infected one way or the other, and I end up getting a phone call asking me to come round and do it again. How do you politely tell somebody that they need to learn enough about the computer to have some clue what their kids are doing, or it will just happen again. This is complicated by the fact that many of the people I'm referring to do not speak english as their first language. Their kids however have been brought up here and are fluent in both English and computer talk. I like helping out, but find it very frustrating doing the same job over again repeatedly when a little understanding of what's been happening on their computer should prevent the problem. Trying to teach them to understand how a computer works is a lost cause though. What to do????

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PNMarkW2
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Postby PNMarkW2 » Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:41 am

Having recently helped several members of my ward with different basic computer related issues, not a virus but just general use, like how to attach a document to an email, etc

I am reminded that computers are in fact highly complex, technical, and to some, intimidating devises. With the help of my son I have stripped down and upgraded the all of the main computers in our home network (3 desktops and a server), and my only thought was making sure I bought parts that would upgrade to the new OS down the road. On the other hand I have never changed the oil on my own car because I have no clue what to do.

My point, and yes there is one, is that I feel it's a mistake to believe that it's a simple matter that requires just a little effort on the parents part. You and I have years of experience that make these things easy for us, I met my wife online over 20 years ago. Most people are not going to get up to speed with just a long Saturday afternoon. It's going to take time, line upon line, to get them up to speed.

More to the point though, I think you need to get the kids up to speed if it's their online behavior that's causing the problems. The anitvirus, firewall and filtering are all secondary security measures that try (and often fail) to save a user who does something they shouldn't. Correct the users behavior and you won't have the issues your facing, it just takes time.
~Mark
Ward Clerk
Colonial Heights Ward
Portland Oregon Stake

-----
"For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three."
---Alice Kahn

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:10 am

jltware wrote:I have been around a couple of times and set up the computer with antivirus, firewall and internet filter. However, the kids still manage to get the computer infected one way or the other, and I end up getting a phone call asking me to come round and do it again. How do you politely tell somebody that they need to learn enough about the computer to have some clue what their kids are doing, or it will just happen again.


I see 3 issues:

How do you say "no" after too many calls?
How do you get the kids to be a little smarter about what they do? (If they were sharp, you wouldn't have a problem.)
What can you do to make the job simple enough for the parents to be effective?

I don't have a good answer for the first two questions, but the last one may be do-able with a set of instructions that includes the instructions "insert the recovery disk..." ;)

Another strategy is to work out a way so the kids do not have administrative access to the computer. In some ways that's far more work because it can be tricky to get things to work right - especially under limited user rights. But the rewards are zero malware problems after that.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:33 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Another strategy is to work out a way so the kids do not have administrative access to the computer.
I don't know about operating systems like Windows Vista since I have only dealt with previous NT based systems with user rights. For those people (families) I have helped I recommend that if a person using the computer has little knowledge about the system, the hazards associated with the Internet, or from installing anything on the computer to only give them basic User account rights. If they have some competency then they probably could be given Power User account rights to permit them to install programs for their user account only. These two lower permissions user access privileges restrict damage done to only the one account and not the entire computer as would happen with administrator privileges. Correcting the damage is easier to do when limited to just a user account.

Of course then there is the need to train the adults the proper prcedure to install programs using the administrator account or the install procedure using the "Run as...' method from a non-administrator account. Leaving the written procedures with the adults helped most of the time.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

jbh001
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Postby jbh001 » Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:45 pm

jltware wrote:How do you politely tell somebody that they need to learn enough about the computer to have some clue what their kids are doing, or it will just happen again.
"I'd be glad to do it! My next open slot for that is 4 weeks from next Tuesday. I'd be happy to take a look at it then."

This has the virtue of not telling them "no," and also communicates the conditions/boundaries under which you are able (and/or willing) to provide assistance.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:06 pm

jdlessley wrote:These two lower permissions user access privileges restrict damage done to only the one account and not the entire computer as would happen with administrator privileges.


In theory:
"User" can only install for that user.
"Power User" can install for all users, but can not update the OS.

However, many installs still die even with Power User rights because they want to place DLLs in the Windows directories.

While it's a pain to get things to work under "User" it has gotten much better. It seems that in order to become "Vista compatible" many programmers are finally having to follow the rules that allow their programs to work under "user" rights. (Such as not storing data under C:\Program Files)
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.


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