Mac Setup for Family that keeps killing PCs

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Emet, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. Emet macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2013
    Yeah I know, the Mac will be awesome since it's not a PC, but I'm setting up the Mac Mini for some friends and feel like I should go a little further on theirs, than I did on mine, because of their unusual computer-bricking powers.

    The kids do a lot of YouTube and have a few sites with games. Mom watches a lot of Korean soap operas and other TV online from Asia. I am not being xenophobic, just describing the phenomenon: She's from Asia-Pacific Islands and naturally likes to watch TV shows she's used to and I've noticed the websites tend to look like the websites that are malware havens.

    When I had a look at some of their PCs after something went wrong, there were often browser bars and browser extensions and whatnot. There also seemed to be malware. I don't know a great deal about these things, just enough to restore their system to an earlier date.

    I did keep installing virus protection with malware protection on their computers; I'm not sure if that failed to protect or if they never updated it. There were quite a few stern "if something pops up saying there's a problem with your computer, don't click on it" conversations, but ultimately the family keeps buying a new computer every year.

    Naturally I talked them into getting a Mac this time. But there's a lot I don't know about exactly what they've kept doing, and about Macs & malware.

    I'm updating to Mavericks now, and then will install Flash.

    I've set up individual user IDs, both adults have admin permission. This was mostly since they all have separate apple IDs for iTunes and want to keep content separate. I'm wondering if I should make "her" account one that doesn't have admin privileges, I don't know if this helps avoid malware or if it just hinders her ability to use the computer (she will use it most).

    There will be a lot of YouTube use, and as I understand Java use because one child plays MineCraft. The bit of reading I've done suggests Flash & Java are primary concerns.

    I'm considering:
    -- Antivirus software because even though it'll slow it down, it may help guard against malware downloads.
    -- Another attempt at educating Mom & teenager about downloading stuff.

    I'm thinking #2 is better, but is there a very plain English explanation out there somewhere about not unwittingly downloading malware? And what are the dangers inherent in Java & Flash on Mavericks?
  2. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
  3. edd123 macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2013
    Google Chrome, with the addon "New Tab Redirect" set to ""
    and the addon "Adblock Plus" enabled seems to work miracles for all my download-everything-minded friends.

    It hides all the fake "Click here to download" buttons when they try and do pretty much anything online, and the "New Tab Redirect" gets rid of my only gripe with Chrome, which is the useless new tab page.

    I don't think there really is as much setup you can do on a Mac. On a clean Windows install I seem to spend half a day installing the right software, ticking the right boxes, doing all the updates, etc., but on Mac I think the idea is that it just works out of the box.

    I really wouldn't bother with antivirus - just tell them that when the website says "Your Mac is slow..." or "Your computer may have issues..." or "Watch free [TV Show] here...", it's really not the case, and they should just ask you if they have any concerns.

    On another note, it sounds like their old PCs could do with a reinstall - in my experience System Restore, if that's what you were using, doesn't solve everything.

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