Protecting Your Elderly Loved Ones from Online Scams: A Guide to Blocking Harmful Websites


How can I prevent my elderly grandmother from accessing scam websites on her computer?

I have a 72-year-old grandmother who is very active online, but she is also very gullible and believes everything she reads. She often falls for scams that promise her miraculous cures, free gadgets, or other benefits. She gets angry when I try to warn her or educate her about these scams, and she accuses me of being jealous or disrespectful. I want to protect her from wasting her money or compromising her personal information, so I am looking for a free and effective way to block all unsecure and fraudulent websites on her computer. She should still be able to use social media and read news, but not access any sites that could harm her. What is the best solution for this problem?


  • Install a reputable antivirus software and a browser extension that can block malicious websites. There are many free and effective options available, such as Avast, Malwarebytes, uBlock Origin, etc. These tools can scan your grandmother’s computer for viruses, malware, and other threats, and also prevent her from visiting websites that are known to be harmful or deceptive. They can also warn her if she is about to enter a phishing site or a fake login page that could steal her credentials.
  • Set up parental controls or a whitelist of trusted websites. Another way to limit your grandmother’s exposure to scam websites is to restrict her access to only the websites that you approve. You can do this by using parental control features that are built into some operating systems, browsers, or routers, or by using third-party software or apps that can create a whitelist of allowed websites. This way, your grandmother can still enjoy her favorite sites, such as Facebook, YouTube, or news outlets, but she will not be able to access any other sites that are not on the list. You can also customize the settings to allow or block certain categories of websites, such as gambling, health, or shopping.
  • Educate your grandmother about the common signs and types of online scams. While blocking scam websites can be helpful, it is not foolproof. Some scammers may use email, phone, or social media to contact your grandmother and try to trick her into giving them money or information. Therefore, it is important to teach your grandmother how to recognize and avoid these scams. You can show her some examples of scam messages or calls, and explain to her why they are not legitimate. You can also tell her some general rules to follow, such as:
  • Never open attachments or click on links from unknown or suspicious senders.
  • Never share your personal or financial information with anyone online or over the phone, unless you are sure they are who they claim to be.
  • Never send money or gift cards to anyone who claims to be in trouble, in need, or offering you a reward.
  • Always check the sender’s email address, the website’s URL, and the company’s or organization’s name and contact details before trusting them.
  • Always do some research or ask for a second opinion before buying or signing up for anything online.
  • Be supportive and understanding of your grandmother’s feelings and needs. Finally, it is important to remember that your grandmother is not stupid or naive, but she may be lonely, bored, or curious. She may also feel offended or hurt when you try to correct her or stop her from doing what she wants. Therefore, you should try to be patient, respectful, and empathetic with her. You should not scold her, mock her, or make her feel bad about herself. Instead, you should praise her for being active and interested in the online world, and encourage her to use it in a safe and smart way. You should also spend some quality time with her, and show her that you care about her and her well-being.
  • By

following these steps, you can hopefully prevent your grandmother from accessing scam websites on her computer, and also improve your relationship with her. Remember that the internet can be a wonderful and enriching resource for older people, as long as they use it with caution and awareness.

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