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My father-in-law spends most of his day forwarding e-mails from his "trusted" friends and clicking on links they share. We are concerned he will get into trouble if he stumbles onto the wrong site. We have antivirus and anti-spyware software installed, but wondered if there were any "parental controls" we could install or apply which would protect him from his naive trust of others.

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I am in financial compliance, and the internet can not be secured for your loved ones. Those that scam and commit fraud are endlessly creating new websites, emails and spyware that can, at best, be caught and blocked by the very best IT departments. If they are mentally impaired at all, they should not have access to a personal computer. They can use the library's. You can read my other posts for securing their lives from all fraud, those legal measures are the only way, and if you have them protected with a trust for all property, including vehicles (TODs in some states for vehicles), fraud alerts on all accounts, (with DPOA and your contact phone # on file), auto pay for monthly bills, premium cable (with child protections set to prevent ordering junk), mail to a P.O. Box (only you have key) for you to sort out scams/junk, mailbox at home removed, and phones blocking all incoming and outgoing 1-800, 1-900, 1-976, and all international calls (if necessary put these phones in your name to monitor & pay if parent is angry. ( they like it if you pay:-) There is more, of course, but the real key to making it work is to socially engage a lot, try and keep them busy with real life, just like a 13 year old getting into a lot of trouble, because a large part of the problem is that they have too much time on their hands and they are lonely and bored. Treat them with the love AND protection that you would give your young child. It's not hard if you ignore the tantrums and redirect them into something more beneficial, like treating them to lunch at THEIR favorite restaurant! Mentally, they are regressing quickly, so don't get frustrated, it's time to do for them, what they did for you...minus the ballet and softball!
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When I activated OpenDNS, I knew what a router was (the box that sits between your computer and your network modem), but had no idea what a DNS setting was. The online instructions are very easy. One only has to search for the router manufacture / model number on the OpenDNS site. and follow the directions (complete with visual screen shots) to show what values need to be changed to secure your web activities. Here is an example set of instructions for my specific router -

If this sounds like jibberish, I suggest individuals interested in protecting their family from unsavory websites, enlist the help of someone who knows what a router is.
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gshayes, I think most of us here would be totally lost on how to *reconfigure 2-3 DNS* or even what a *router* is :(
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I had posted a similar question last week. My research led me to activate a free service called OpenDNS. While the solution is somewhat technical, their directions are very clear. You reconfigure 2-3 DNS settings on the router and then choose a set of filters to block specific types of sites (i.e., porn, gambling, online auctions, games, spam, video sharing sites, etc.). Once configured, you can even change the settings remotely by logging into the site and choosing your parent's network and modify the settings.
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I use Norton 360, which will warn me if I'm going to a site that is "unsafe" or if I've had a threat that was blocked. My neighbor keeps getting viruses and also uses Norton. I asked her if her Norton was warning her and she said yes, but she clicks on the sites anyway. So if your folks have dementia (and my neighbor doesn't), your best efforts may be overridden by your parents.
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Thanks to everyone's comments. I found a good solution using a free service called OpenDNS. By changing the DNS paths in your home router to the OpenDNS values, you can block access to inappropriate sites. It also provides an anti-phishing filter.
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Eyerishlass, same here, all I know is the color of my computer :P

Any time I have a computer issues I contact one of these computer geek groups that come to the house on an hour rate. Knock on wood, so far so good whenever I have a major issue... these guys/gals have good knowledge and know coding. Check on Angie's List or if your area has a local consumer group that rates companies/businesses.
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Antivirus is the fist step. Additionally there are "Nanny" software programs that allow you to block sites that you identify by domain name, unfortunately bad sites pop up with new names every day. Nanny programs also allow you to block sites by key words in their content. Companies install these to prevent bored workers going to inappropriate sites. Best Buy is as good a place as any to check these out, or you can search on the internet. Have any 20 year olds in the family? Maybe they can help.
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There is a web site called "How To Geek" that has a lot of computer info and is also searchable. Most of the info on that site is explained in easy to understand language. One of my fears would be that he might answer a phishing e- mail with personal or financial info.
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Set your privacy settings as tight as possible, especially on emails. Most virus and spyware seems to come from games and sites with naked women. Don't kid yourself, they ALL like to see naked women.
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Our family is concerned because Dementia may override our words of caution to never download, etc.
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If you have good antivirus and spyware software installed -- top of the line -- that SHOULD be enough protection. Keep impressing on him to never-ever-ever-ever click "Download". To never-ever-ever click "Check my computer". Most times, worst case scenarios aren't as bad as you think. Just a dozen hours and days of "OMG!! Help me!!!!" ;) ;)

There are, of course, parental controls. Best place to learn what's out there may be Best Buy.
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What a great question! I wish I could help you. The only thing I know about computers is that mine is silver.

I would think that there's some kind of filter.....I'm sure someone else will have a good answer to your problem. Are you needing his email sorted or are you looking for some kind of warning that will alert him to dangerous links?

My email sends my spam to another folder and then I just hit 'delete' and it goes away. Does your FIL not have a spam folder?
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