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Old 18. Oct 2013, 03:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need advice on setting up user group security

I teach seniors to use PCs and Win 7. Recently the Senior Center upgraded to Win 7 desktops. Along with the upgrade, I learned, came permission for any and all members to use the computers (there are only 4) for $1.00 per hour. There are no controls whatever on users and what they do and where they go online.

It seems to me there ought to be some monitoring of user activity online. The good news is, it's a senior group, most of whom barely know how to turn the PCs on. I don't envision a large malware infection problem, as one might have if the users were teens.

Win 7 has built in tools to deal with this situation. I have installed Microsoft Security Essentials, Malwarebytes, and Firefox. I'm looking at browser add-ons such as HTTPS Everywhere, Web Of Trust, Ghostery, Better Privacy and Adblock Plus. I have most of these on my machines at home.

I don't want to create a big deal where there isn't one. At least not yet. These machines have to remain virus/malware-free if I'm to be able to use them for teaching. I'm wondering what your thinking is i.e. how much monitoring is enough, and how much is a violation of privacy.

I know I will be asked by the Board to make a recommendation. I'd appreciate your suggestions. Thanks.

Wes N
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Old 18. Oct 2013, 11:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well setting up a monitoring program or add-on may seem too intrusive, but you could configure the browsers to block some sites with parental settings. Maybe that would be sufficient.
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Old 19. Oct 2013, 05:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tboneman2 View Post
I don't want to create a big deal where there isn't one. At least not yet. These machines have to remain virus/malware-free if I'm to be able to use them for teaching. I'm wondering what your thinking is i.e. how much monitoring is enough, and how much is a violation of privacy.

I know I will be asked by the Board to make a recommendation. I'd appreciate your suggestions. Thanks.

Wes N
You might look in to setting up guest accounts on all the computers in Windows 7.
Guest accounts are very limited in their ability to download and run programs and have other restrictions. You don't have to have a guest account for each person, one guest account per computer can be set up.
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Old 19. Oct 2013, 09:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Setting up a guest account is a great idea. Simple, and powerful.

Also, if you are not worried about the users saving changes on the system, or their files, etc.. means they just want to use the computer, and they will not save files, then you can look at Toolwiz Time Freeze: http://www.toolwiz.com/products/toolwiz-time-freeze/
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Old 19. Oct 2013, 02:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It is a general practice for machines that are used publicly to have some sort of rollback software. In other words, software that returns the machine to some pre-set stage every time it is turned off. Anupam has suggested Toolwiz. I have been involved with a senior center for years and we have used a number of free programs. We have been using Comodo Time Machine.
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Old 20. Oct 2013, 09:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hey guys,
Many thanks for some great suggestions. I'm thinking that Rhiannon's thought about Guest Accounts on each of the four computers might be enough. If it turns out we have a smoothie in the group who likes porn sites, then maybe we'll have to do more. As I'm sure you are aware, porn sites are notorious for harboring virus originators. Still, I'm a believer in that old saw, treat exceptions on an exceptional basis.
Again, many thanks for your help.
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Old 21. Oct 2013, 10:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tboneman2 View Post
Hey guys,
Many thanks for some great suggestions. I'm thinking that Rhiannon's thought about Guest Accounts on each of the four computers might be enough. If it turns out we have a smoothie in the group who likes porn sites, then maybe we'll have to do more. As I'm sure you are aware, porn sites are notorious for harboring virus originators. Still, I'm a believer in that old saw, treat exceptions on an exceptional basis.
Again, many thanks for your help.
You can also set up a standard account and enable parental control on the account.
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Old 22. Oct 2013, 12:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have been involved with running computers at a senior center and my experience (and that of many others) is that you really need rollback software. People find an amazing variety of ways to mess up a Windows computer, guest accounts or no. But it's your choice.
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Old 23. Oct 2013, 10:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by v.laurie View Post
I have been involved with running computers at a senior center and my experience (and that of many others) is that you really need rollback software. People find an amazing variety of ways to mess up a Windows computer, guest accounts or no. But it's your choice.
So true.
I was working on someone's computer last week. Speaking technically, what was going on wasn't supposed to be possible for the version of Windows that was on the system. Go figure.
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Old 24. Oct 2013, 12:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v.laurie View Post
I have been involved with running computers at a senior center and my experience (and that of many others) is that you really need rollback software. People find an amazing variety of ways to mess up a Windows computer, guest accounts or no.
Although I cannot claim to have any experience where this is concerned, I'm in total agreement with Vic. It's plain common sense to rollback the system each time. If you don't, you may have regrets later. Why take the chance?
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