Secure Browser or OS

25
Found 28th Jul
Hi,

Just looking for some advice on what's out there in regards to either a secure browser or OS.

My dad, who's well into his 70's and insists on using his computer for online banking was recently hacked (bank can't tell us how, but seems it was through his PC).

I'm just wondering if there's anything out there that's a bit more secure than windows 7 and his choice of browser (firefox), as he's just received his new login details and I'm reluctant to let him put them into the PC again at this stage to try and avoid the same happening again.

I know a lot of this is down to common sense, but it's difficult to get things across to someone struggling with memory issues.

Any pointers greatly appreciated.
Community Updates
Ask
25 Comments
Either you dad logged onto the wrong www address or got a scam phone call and gave info out
kester766 m ago

Either you dad logged onto the wrong www address or got a scam phone call …Either you dad logged onto the wrong www address or got a scam phone call and gave info out


I know you're trying to help but thise aren't the only 2 possibilities, are they?
MS would tell you to use W10 rather than W7. In this instance, it would not have changed the outcome.

You forgot to mention which security package you are using. Opinions vary widely. I use Kaspersky on the family PCs and it seems to do the job. I used Mcafee before Kaspersky and my FiL got Kryptolocker by being conned over the phone. He is an extremely savvy gentleman but not when it comes to PCs.

Your second defence after using a good security package is to set him up with a User account and not Admin. Password protect the Admin account and don't give him the password. It wont solve all the problems but it helps.

Firefox is no better or worse than any other browser when it comes to the actions taken against your father. When it comes to banking etc, set the URLs up as Favourites in the Favourites tool bar. Tell him to only use those buttons. If the button does not work, tell him to cease and desist.

I added Teamviewer (remote takeover) to my FiL's PC so we can work through problems together but even that has its limitations

All the above helps but it's a nasty old topic and educating your father to never trust anything online or on the telephone is the best form of help.
I'd say kester76 is pretty much correct. There aren't too many ways other than either a scam email from his 'bank' and he accidentally logged in via a bogus link or maybe had a trojan/virus on his pc to log keystrokes etc. Who knows. I hope you've done all you can to check his pc over, security-wise?

As to online banking, all I would recommend for your dad would be a dedicated OS and browser on a USB stick that he plugs in and ONLY uses fot accessing his bank. Nothing else - just his bank website, set up as a bookmark. Puppy Linux is perfect for this task. It's very small, lightweight and easy to manage as it's very "Windows" like - and you can install Firefox too, if he's happy with that.

puppylinux.com

Try Xenialpup. It is pretty up-to-date for most of the banking institutions security using the stock "Pale Moon" browser (which is based on Mozilla's Firefox) so easy to use & understand. Just drill into your dad that if he is online banking then plug in the USB, go to his bookmark/bank and ONLY that. When done, log out - shut down - remove USB and reboot to normal OS to surf as normal.

NEVER surf anything else on the USB stick, ok?

Best regards, Phsy.
Thanks for the feedback so far. To answer some of the questions, it's installed with Security Essentials (I've never been a fan of either Macafee or Kaspersky, but to be fair it's years since I had any of them) and the OS itself is patched up to date. I do have Teamviewer on the machine to provide remote assistance, but it's not set to autorun, so I have to direct him to the icon to launch it when I need to connect and help him out.

@kester76 you're probably right, but it's difficult to get a direct answer from him as he's terrible with his memory, so much so, that I've had to put printed sheets next to the phone and his PC that "Microsoft or the bank will not call you!" I tried to get him to switch back to receiving paper statements at the bank and forgetting this online banking altogether, but it's like taking his independence away, so I'm just trying to alleviate the risk the best I can.

@ccnp I've got the sites bookmarked and I keep getting the browser to forget the passwords, but he does have an habit of saving them, which I'm sure hasn't helped at all. I agree with the W10/W7 argument, but as you say, I don't think it would help in this case. I stopped him getting the W10 update, as I thought it would confuse him more and cause more support issues for me.

@Phsycronix Thanks for the advice on the linux distro. I was thinking something along those lines, hence the OS mentioned in the original post, but I'm not really clued up with linux as such and there seems to be a lot of different versions, it's a minefield for the uneducated. He has received his new banking details, so my plan was to flatten his machine and start again. I'd even thought about setting him up on his tablet with the banking app as I thought that might be a bit better for him and potentially more secure.


I appreciate the input so far, thanks.
Really, my friend - don't panic about Puppy linux. It's very easy to operate. It's a desktop environment like Windows so no terminal-text-command line stuff to mess around with. Download an ISO of the software and you can burn it to a cd or dvd and run it "live" from the disk to trial it. No installation is needed.

After you/he is happy, you could then install it to a USB stick for faster boot-up (although the cd/dvd doesn't take that long) and the beauty is, nothing bad can write itself back to the disk (unless you really need it to) so no nasty virus/trojan residencies!

As for usage, it's as easy as MS apart from icons take one mouse-click to operate instead of the usual double-click. I thinl you can make it the same though. It's very 'customizable' and could be designed so that only minimal icons were on screen so as to limit any confusion. There's very little to lose by giving it a try and I think it would help alleviate a lot of your fears of the same situation arising in the future.

Best regards, Phsy.
Knowing that he does his banking online and sticking with MS Security Essentials ? On W7 ? Come on now. Your kidding us

99% of the problem is not your father's. How much do you owe him.
ccnp4 m ago

Knowing that he does his banking online and sticking with MS Security …Knowing that he does his banking online and sticking with MS Security Essentials ? On W7 ? Come on now. Your kidding us99% of the problem is not your father's. How much do you owe him.


Really? Contradicting your own original post regarding the Windows version aren't you? Are you telling me Kaspersky or Macafee would've prevented a phone scam? I appreciate you're trying to assist, but it's not really helpful.
@Phsycronix I'm just flashing it to USB now, so I'll have a play with it before heading over to my dad's to go through it with him. Thanks again, I appreciate the support.
Buy your dad a chrome book. Get rid of the windows pc. Second best option is to set up a user account on Windows pc ad lock it is down so nothing can be installed. Only you will know password to log in as administrator. Easy to do. Look it up
Edited by: "wayners" 28th Jul
maj309111 m ago

@Phsycronix I'm just flashing it to USB now, so I'll have a play with it …@Phsycronix I'm just flashing it to USB now, so I'll have a play with it before heading over to my dad's to go through it with him. Thanks again, I appreciate the support.


You're most welcome. It's the best part of this community and if we can help, we'll always try.

Just let Puppy guide you through the inital stages of setup. It can be a bit daunting at first but Google is your friend and the Linux communities are great.

To do what you need it to do will take nothing above what is already there though. The only thing I can think you might need to install first would be Flash. It's one of the menu options in the media section - titled "Get flash" or something similar. It will install itself so don't worry. Then, it's just a case of setting up the browser how your dad would be most comfortable with - or install Firefox.

Have fun!
brave - has tor facility within :

brave.com
craigstephens2 h, 12 m ago

I know you're trying to help but thise aren't the only 2 possibilities, …I know you're trying to help but thise aren't the only 2 possibilities, are they?


These aren't complex hacks, they're simple deceptions and that's why they're so effective.
OP you need to sort out power of attorney asap. If your dad's is suffering memory loss then you need to be able to help him with his finances before it's too late. You don't want him stressing over imagined financial problems or other stresses. Also around that age they are more likely to be hit by bogus workmen and telemarketing.
As another alt, does his bank have a phone app? I set my mother up using her phone and it saves so much hassle remembering passwords when she uses fingerprint logon instead.
cecilmcroberts17 m ago

As another alt, does his bank have a phone app? I set my mother up using …As another alt, does his bank have a phone app? I set my mother up using her phone and it saves so much hassle remembering passwords when she uses fingerprint logon instead.


Tried that with an old iphone I had, but he said the phone was too complicated and gave it me back. He does have a tablet, but it doesn't have fingerprint technology on it.

kester7634 m ago

OP you need to sort out power of attorney asap. If your dad's is suffering …OP you need to sort out power of attorney asap. If your dad's is suffering memory loss then you need to be able to help him with his finances before it's too late. You don't want him stressing over imagined financial problems or other stresses. Also around that age they are more likely to be hit by bogus workmen and telemarketing.


That's already in hand as part of this. The bank suggested it to him when discussing the breach he encountered. It's a difficult conversation as he sees it as a loss of independence to some degree.
brave browser is apparently good. not used myself. my bank insists on installing Rapport software for an extra layer of security, I know other banks do as well
discozohan13 m ago

brave browser is apparently good. not used myself. my bank insists on …brave browser is apparently good. not used myself. my bank insists on installing Rapport software for an extra layer of security, I know other banks do as well


I'd never heard of the Brave browser before until @seb mentioned it. Downloaded on my own pc now. Already have rapport installed, only issue with Rapport is that it is always behind browser updates (in my experience of it)
Oh dear. Loading software you have never heard of because someone on a BB said it was good. Not liking Mcaffee/Kasperksy so not using them at all. You may not welcome the advice but you really do need to stand back and look at just what you are doing. Your father is being out in harm's way by doubtless well intentioned, but flawed assistance.


Hopefully those proposing bank apps understand Payment Initiation Service Providers and Account Information Service Providers. Not heard of them? They share ALL your banking data as well as holding your security credentials and transacting as though it is you at the keyboard.
ccnp1 h, 51 m ago

Oh dear. Loading software you have never heard of because someone on a BB …Oh dear. Loading software you have never heard of because someone on a BB said it was good. Not liking Mcaffee/Kasperksy so not using them at all. You may not welcome the advice but you really do need to stand back and look at just what you are doing. Your father is being out in harm's way by doubtless well intentioned, but flawed assistance.Hopefully those proposing bank apps understand Payment Initiation Service Providers and Account Information Service Providers. Not heard of them? They share ALL your banking data as well as holding your security credentials and transacting as though it is you at the keyboard.


Not once have I said I didn't welcome any advice, what I did say is that your comment wasn't helpful, slightly different. You're obviously more skilled up in this area than I, so why not offer suggestions as others have, as oppose to criticisms, or does that make you feel superior in some way?
maj30914 h, 7 m ago

Not once have I said I didn't welcome any advice, what I did say is that …Not once have I said I didn't welcome any advice, what I did say is that your comment wasn't helpful, slightly different. You're obviously more skilled up in this area than I, so why not offer suggestions as others have, as oppose to criticisms, or does that make you feel superior in some way?



I like Cecil's answer as what he is referring to is one way where two factor authentication is implemented which secures any logging on with something the user (your father) solely has access too.

Using an app is only one implementation of this there are others. Might be worth talking to the bank and ask them what alternatives they offer so that those with disabilities are not disadvantaged as having tried the phone he found too complex (sms texts, tokens (like rsa) are alternatives).

good luck.
Phsycronix11 h, 12 m ago

I'd say kester76 is pretty much correct. There aren't too many ways other …I'd say kester76 is pretty much correct. There aren't too many ways other than either a scam email from his 'bank' and he accidentally logged in via a bogus link or maybe had a trojan/virus on his pc to log keystrokes etc. Who knows. I hope you've done all you can to check his pc over, security-wise?As to online banking, all I would recommend for your dad would be a dedicated OS and browser on a USB stick that he plugs in and ONLY uses fot accessing his bank. Nothing else - just his bank website, set up as a bookmark. Puppy Linux is perfect for this task. It's very small, lightweight and easy to manage as it's very "Windows" like - and you can install Firefox too, if he's happy with that.http://puppylinux.comTry Xenialpup. It is pretty up-to-date for most of the banking institutions security using the stock "Pale Moon" browser (which is based on Mozilla's Firefox) so easy to use & understand. Just drill into your dad that if he is online banking then plug in the USB, go to his bookmark/bank and ONLY that. When done, log out - shut down - remove USB and reboot to normal OS to surf as normal.NEVER surf anything else on the USB stick, ok?Best regards, Phsy.


Genius suggestion. Nice one.
miikeyblue4 m ago

Genius suggestion. Nice one.


Might be worth separating his account into savings and spending accounts so if it does get hacked then they can't take the savings.
The problem with browsing the internet is it's full of scams, everyone wants your money without a care for yourself.
It isn't just the older folks that get caught out, anyone can be scammed.

All this unfortunately lowers the fun/use you can have on the internet/computer/etc, different people have differing levels of understanding and capability and therefore need to be managed differently, unfortunately this also means restricting access to the very minimum, or not at all.

Email, Text and Phone call confidence scams reel you in to give out more information than you should, these can come in different forms, sometimes coming from "friends and family" but are actually people pretending to be, ie from harvested data or a friend/family gave up this data unwittingly from another scam/or hacked account/hacked computer etc.
This also goes for the bogus door-steppers, looking to be from a legitimate organisation.

Minimising what you click, understanding how scams work and taking extra care will all help, how you go about this I'm not sure but comes from personal research and experience.

I aren't really helping with what to use for your dad, the separate USB stick option may work for a while but isn't as straight forward as it sounds, its worth a try but you may need to change tact in the future if it doesn't work.

Certainly moving away from Windows 7 limitations is a must, its an old browser getting less support from Microsoft and other software companies.

Many people will be in the same boat worrying about their friends and family, so be good to hear back from you (maj3091)in a month or so to see how you're getting on, and any recommendations you've found from what you're trying.
Good luck.
kester7611 h, 22 m ago

Might be worth separating his account into savings and spending accounts …Might be worth separating his account into savings and spending accounts so if it does get hacked then they can't take the savings.


Thanks for the pointer, but he's already sorted that way and his online access was only to the current account.

@darkovo Thanks for your input. I'll see how things pan out, but I agree the USB stick maybe a little confusing for him and too easy for him to forget what to do.
Post a comment
Avatar
@
    Text

    Top Discussions

    Top Discussions

    Top Merchants