How to teenager-proof a Windows 7 PC

Families share: meals, money, space, telephones, computers, we name it. Depending on a circumstances, a pity can be a source of fun or of dispute — frequently it’s a small of both.

If there’s a mechanism in your domicile that some-more than one chairman uses, we can minimize a chances that a appurtenance will crack a family assent by configuring a complement to accommodate a singular needs of any user. If one or some-more of those users is a teenager, we owe it to all of us to assistance forestall malware from swelling by implementing some elementary reserve precautions.

A story of dual teenagers and a repairs of uncontrollable downloads
Mac-using crony recently asked for assistance with a Windows PC she bought several years ago for her father and their dual teenage children to share. She had no knowledge with Windows and hadn’t commissioned any antivirus or other confidence module on a machine. Even worse, all 4 of a family members sealed into a singular director account.

As we can imagine, a appurtenance was shortly rendered scarcely invalid by any kind of malware famous to humankind. When we started a PC, Windows Update was inaccessible, Internet Explorer’s hunt choice had been reset to a dreaded Babylon “service” (see this CNET forum post for instructions on stealing Babylon from your PC), and we was incompetent to open renouned security-software sites in possibly Internet Explorer or
Firefox to download any antivirus programs.

After several attempts we was means to download and implement both Microsoft’s giveaway Security Essentials and a giveaway chronicle of Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware program. Once Security Essentials’ real-time pathogen scanner was active, we updated Malwarebytes Anti-Malware’s virus-definition database and afterwards ran a full indicate with a program.

The initial Anti-Malware indicate unclosed some-more than 90 questionable objects. we private a items, rebooted, and did another full indicate with a program. The second indicate held some-more than 20 potentially dangerous objects, and a third indicate usually a handful. After 4 full scans and complement restarts, a PC came adult clean.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware indicate results

After 4 full scans by Malwarebytes’ giveaway Anti-Malware module a putrescent Windows 7 PC was finally entirely disinfected.

screenshot by Dennis O’Reilly/CNET)

I assured a PC’s owners to open for an ascent from Windows Vista to
Windows 7. After a OS upgrade, we done certain Windows and Microsoft Security Essentials were set to refurbish automatically and all other built-in confidence facilities were active and up-to-date.

Next, we downloaded and commissioned a latest chronicle of Firefox and several confidence add-ons for a browser: NoScript, HTTPS Everywhere, Web of Trust, Ghostery, Better Privacy, and AdBlock Plus. All 6 of a add-ons are giveaway for non-commercial use.

(See a associated stories listed above for some-more on these and other Firefox confidence add-ons.)

Restrict everyone’s use of Windows director accounts
There’s a elementary approach to revoke a chances of a mechanism infection: make certain everybody signs into their possess customary Windows account. Standard accounts are no-brainers for children, though they make clarity for grown-ups, too.

About a usually times we need director privileges are when we wish to download a module or change a complement setting. Not many of us are expected to do possibly in a march of a customary workday. On those singular occasions when we need an director privilege, usually right-click a limited file, program, or setting, name “Run as administrator,” and enter an director name and password.

To emanate a customary user account, press a Windows key, form user accounts, press Enter, click “Manage user accounts,” and name “Create a new account.”

Windows 7 User Accounts dialog

Minimize a risk of a mechanism infection by regulating a customary Windows comment around Win7’s User Accounts applet.

screenshot by Dennis O’Reilly/CNET)

Give a comment a name and press Enter. To password-protect a account, name it in a Manage Accounts window, click “Create a password,” enter a cue twice, and press Enter.

Control users’ Web viewing, other activities
Parents know they need to guard their children’s online activities. Microsoft’s giveaway Windows Live Family Safety use lets we accept reports of a Windows user’s activities and shorten a comment in several ways, including 5 levels of Web calm filtering.

After we revisit a Windows Live Essentials page to download a program, make certain to click “Choose a programs we wish to install” rather than a default choice that installs 11 apart apps.

Windows Live Essentials designation options

Select a second of a dual options offering by a Windows Live Essentials installer to equivocate removing some-more module than we bargained for.

Screenshot by Dennis O’Reilly/CNET)

On a subsequent shade of a installer, uncheck a programs we don’t wish and click Install.

Windows Live Essentials program-selection window

Uncheck a Live Essentials apps we don’t wish and click Install to get started with a Family Safety program.

Screenshot by Dennis O’Reilly/CNET)

To set adult monitoring of a Windows account, name Windows Live Family Safety underneath Windows Live on a Start menu (or press a Windows key, form Windows Live Family Safety, and press Enter). Click “Add or conduct family members on this computer,” and name a comment we wish to monitor.

Windows Live Family Safety account-monitor wizard

Check a Windows comment we wish to guard around Family Safety and name Next.

Screenshot by Dennis O’Reilly/CNET)

Use a drop-down menu to name a Hotmail comment that will accept a monitoring reports and click Save. To change a monitoring settings, revisit a Family Safety site and click Edit Settings underneath a comment name.

The monitoring options are listed in 8 categories in a left pane; click one or name a couple in a categorical window to open a settings in that category.

Windows Live Family Safety account-monitoring options

Eight categories of monitoring options are offering by a Family Safety app.

Screenshot by Dennis O’Reilly/CNET)

In further to restricting a hours of a day and days of a week a user might entrance to a computer, we can extent gameplay and retard all or certain applications. The 5 levels of Web filtering offer a primer white list of authorized sites, child-friendly sites only, ubiquitous (no adult sites), online communication (no adult sites), and “Warning on adult” that does no restraint though pops adult an “Are we sure?” window. You can also retard a person’s ability to download files from a Internet.

Windows Live Family Safety Web-filtering options

The Family Safety guard lets we name one of 5 levels of Web filtering: from a elementary list of authorized sites to advise though don’t filter (and 3 adult-blocking settings in between).

screenshot by Dennis O’Reilly/CNET)

By default Family Safety sends a weekly activity news for a monitored account. You can perspective a comment activity over a longer duration of time by selecting a date operation underneath a “Web activity” and “PC activity” tabs of a activity-report settings. The news includes Web pages visited, a series of visits to any page, their activity on a page, and a date a page was final visited.

The time and date of any comment event is shown underneath PC activity, along with a applications a chairman used, a files a comment downloaded, and a games played.

Even if this turn of inspection of your children gives we pause, cruise a halt outcome of your teenagers meaningful you’re looking over their shoulder, either you’re indeed in a room with them or not. It’s also a approach to make certain your kids aren’t on Facebook or YouTube when they’re ostensible to be doing their homework.

There’s no surrogate for giving your children your amount courtesy as mostly as possible. When approach communication with your kids isn’t possible, gripping a tighten watch over their Web activities and mechanism use can assistance keep them forked in a right direction.

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