This is an issue I'm recurringly facing: older people from my family (or people who my family members know) can be surprisingly reluctant to apply most basic security measures when they're using their PCs. The particular issues vary, but this time I'm struggling with a really egregious one: the refusal to upgrade from their ~20-year-old Windows XP PC. (Or is this an even older version of Windows? I don't really know as I did not see it yet.)
How can I explain that it is a bad idea nowadays to connect to the internet with such a PC?
I think that this question will only be clear and meaningful if I add an addendum about the mindset of such people... which seems to me to be really peculiar:
- They seem to have no notion of obsolescence of things. In their minds, a computer is in good shape if and only if it is capable to perform the tasks they need it to perform (eg. "receive this important document sent to my e-mail address, make such-and-such modifications to this document, send it back"). Thus if they're able to do this it is hard to explain to them they should buy a new PC.
- They remember the times of poverty, when it was irresponsible (and actually plain stupid) to replace things carelessly. In their times broken things were being fixed if possible, and only replaced if repairs were no longer possible. Some of them are still poor, so they may have actual (rather than just mental) reasons to refuse to spend a three digit sum on new things.
- They seem reluctant to understand how to operate stuff from the modern era. They seem to want a concise, clearly defined order of steps necessary to perform a task (rather than understanding of the abstractions of modern GUIs so that they can operate their PCs regardless of whatever it shows them). If anything strays from this clear order of steps (eg the computer shows them an unexpected dialog) they get confused and may deem their computer "broken" (and call me to "fix" it for them).
- Actual example: "I don't know what happens, why can I not get to my e-mail inbox without all of this annoying stuff? It keeps displaying me these annoying messages about passwords and phone numbers! Please fix it for me so that clicking this picture will get me to my e-mail inbox!"
- As a result, whenever anything changes in their computer (eg this WinXP is upgraded finally...) that interferes with their well-known, predictable order of steps / responses from their PC it is likely they'll say I "broke more than I fixed". They have a clear definition of "fixing" their PC... "make it behave exactly as it used to".
- When told about security (eg that a middle school kiddie next door could break into their PC) they tend to respond along the lines of "Am I working in a three letter agency?" or "Who am I, a millionaire? There's no reason anyone would want to target me!"
Actually, if I think about it, their point of view, even if fallacious, kind of makes sense... They simply treat a PC as a tool like that they're accustomed of, something like a hammer or a (traditional, simple, devoid of electronics) vacuum cleaner... Their approach, listed above, seems reasonable if they were talking about a hammer rather than a PC, I guess...
I'm running out of arguments. In the spirit of this question, may I ask how to talk to such old-timers?