January 24, 2021

Need help finding a more robust antivirus/anti malware/spyware program to help my aging mother be better protected from scammer

To my horror, my 65 year old mother recently told me that her laptop (which was recently stolen from her car and mercifully, now, gone forever) was recently attacked by ransomware. She was clearly extremely embarrassed to admit she paid $500 to some hacker group just to unlock her computer and turn off an alarm that was blaring.

Since she was asking for help to protect herself on a new computer, I reserved any criticism and set about trying to help her secure her new computer in such a way that she would (hopefully) not be a victim in the future.

I explained to her she cannot go around downloading programs from random website (I’m guessing she got the ransomware by downloading card games from unscrupulous sites) or clicking links in emails from anyone she doesn’t personally know, but I get the feeling that won’t be enough, and/or she will inevitably make the same mistakes again in the near future.

She is about to buy a brand new laptop to replace the one that was stolen. Beyond properly setting up Microsoft updates and keeping her definitions up to date- are there any programs out there that could help protect her from ransomware/malware in the future? I’d like to get her something she can set up that will protect her before something happens, rather than try to fix it after. Is there anything like that on the market? Are there other tips I can give her to help her stay more secure? What do you recommend? Thanks in advance.

TLDR: Boomer mom needs help protecting her new laptop from ransomware/malware; a program that does this for her would be ideal since she apparently doesn’t know how to safely browse the internet.

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