A Word To Your Grandmother : Explaining Computer Infections

If you know how to use Photoshop (even just a little) then, in the eyes of the older people in your family, you are now quite the computer expert.

Any problems that they have while they are surfing the internet, they will come to you to ask how to fix it – I know, because this happens to me all the time.

Even if they are not surfing the internet and it is a simple problem, such as how to print a document, they will come to you for help.


Explaining Malware To Elderly Relatives

So if they do have a serious problem, such as a piece of malware that they may have picked up, do you know how to explain to them how to fix the problem?

If not, I will give you a few tips that can help you with this.

You can explain to them, how they can avoid their computer from becoming infected in the first place, while at the same time not scaring them off of the internet.

The first thing that you want to explain to them, is that the internet is a huge community which 99% of it is good.

There are just some bad apples that are out there to ruin the fun for everyone.

Just compare it to real life.

Just like you have a community that is mostly good, you will have the bad part of town where crimes will be committed.

Explain to them that they should not be afraid of the internet, but they should avoid the bad parts of town – if they do not know the person that is sending them a file, then they should not download it.

The same goes with someone who is sending them a link to somewhere – if they do not know the person who is sending them the link, then they should avoid clicking on it.

If you think they will understand it, try to show them how to read the actual address bar that is in the browser.

Google Navigation

It has been found that more and more poeple are using Google to completely navigate the web and not just for search.

When you use Google alone, when someone sends you a link and tells you that it is going to a certain place, you tend to believe them.

So explain to them, that they can verify where they are at on the web by checking the address bar.

If they believe that they are on yahoo, but the address bar says something different, explain to them that they should leave.

The last thing that you should explain to them, is how certain programs will load options that they do not need, into their computer.

If they are installing a program, try to teach them to not accept every offer that comes to them.

This is how their name shows up on email and spam lists and this also why their browser gets loaded with toolbars.

If they do have a lot of toolbars on their browser, either show them how to uninstall it or show them the button on the browser itself that will make it invisible.

I know that it can be hard explaining all of this technical stuff to people who are older in age, but it can help keep them safe while they are surfing the internet.

If it helps, write it down on a notepad and ask them to keep it on the side so they can check it while they surf the web.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


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