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My father is pretty careless about his security and this is not new. He even said to me that in the last year he used Tor to access some links just for curiosity because he read about it in some news and followed a tutorial on the internet to do this.

Last night, I used his PC and saw strange programs running and, in his history, that he accessed some adult sites and some strange URLs, too (probably from ads and pop-ups in these sites). Antivirus doesn't work because he clicks on everything.

I spoke with him many times but nothing has an effect and I'm tired of this. I have blocked all inbound connections in my PC's firewall, so I can't see anything suspicious, but my mother has her own PC and she is a very non-technical user, so it's not an option to install a firewall that asks about every new connection, and I don't have time to monitor her PC all the time. Furthermore, we all have our own smartphones, so even if our PCs are protected, the smartphones are not.

Is there a way that I can be free from this terrible headache and protect our devices? I don't have knowledge in networks, I don't even know if my worries are relevant, so I will appreciate non-technical language, if it is possible.

Unfortunately, my router does not support VLAN. Is there anything that I can do without this option?

Obs: all the devices are android or windows.

  • This might be a terrible idea but you can use a separate network to connect his PC. (Your devices & your mom devices in one network & his devices in another separate network). You can also use a firewall (filters ex: pfSense) and secure DNS (such as Comodo, quad9) service. Another thing, I would encourage his curiosity. – DxTx Mar 25 at 15:25
  • @DxTx Why this can be a terrible idea? – Mycroft Mar 25 at 16:03
  • Even though your router might not support VLANs, the concept still applies: your router might have a "guest" network option, you could run 2 different APs, or you could acquire a new router or flash the BIOS of the router to an operating system that allows VLANS. – schroeder Mar 25 at 16:35
  • To protect all the other devices, you need to get that dodgy device on another network, however you end up doing that. – schroeder Mar 25 at 16:36
  • I'm not a security expert. That's the only reason I said that. Also, using a (Network-based) firewall & DNS, you can filter a lot of bad websites. (Do a youtube search on pfSense). In addition, you can also upgrade his PC to Win 10 which do automatic updates regularly whether the user likes it or not. Furthermore, you can teach him to use a simple firewall tool like (Host-based) TinyWall. It's easy to learn & if he is curious enough, he'll learn. Finally, you can educate him or refer him a good online course (such as udemy.com/share/1000Ai). – DxTx Mar 25 at 16:45
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If your router supports VLAN, you can create a VLAN for your father, another for everyone else, and forbid intra-VLAN communication. This will isolate your father from the network.

  • I agree with @ThoriumBR of using VLAN, if your router does not support VLAN you can try to update firmware like DD-WRT but make sure to backup your current firmware. – tse tse fly Mar 25 at 15:33
  • @tsetsefly I checked DD-WRT and my router doesn't suport this. More recommendations? – Mycroft Mar 25 at 16:21
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My father is even worse than yours. The proposed solution is to install firewalls on your network devices and deny all the incoming traffic to them. This will prevent some crazy spread on your network and probably you should format your father's laptop from time to time.

On the other hand, also project your router with a strong password. This would help in case somebody accesses your father's laptop remotely.

  • Our androids are not rooted, and I think that root a device owned by a common user is not a good idea, so install a firewall is not a option. About my router, I check DNS everyday to know if it is normal. There are more recomendations? – Mycroft Mar 25 at 15:26
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An infected machine has the capability to scan the network and possibly infect other devices depending upon the malware library of payloads. There is no guarantee that you can secure your network and devices 100% but you can improve your security and minimize possible infections by making sure:

  • the software you are using is up to date
  • install antivirus software
  • use firewall on your machine and router
  • configure your machine to display file extension
  • only download software from trusted websites
  • always scan usb

These are just some basic precautionary measure you can try out today.

  • The only relevant point is the first one. AV and firewalls were already addressed in the question. The last 3 points have nothing to do with the question at all. – schroeder Mar 25 at 15:46

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