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Never fear, home IT heroes – Sophos has a security solution for you

Not long ago we asked "home IT heroes" how many people they look after, and who they're most worried about security-wise. The results are in, and Sophos can help.

Chances are, you’re pretty savvy about technology, computers and security (you’re reading Naked Security, after all).

You know all about the web threats, online scams, and privacy pratfalls that await less-knowledgable people at every turn; you’re capable and keep your computers and devices up-to-date and secure as best you know how.

Because of this, your friends, family and co-workers probably come to you for troubleshooting problems.

Sure, you’re happy to do it, most of the time. But there are a lot of people counting on you.

Not long ago we asked how much extra work home IT heroes like you are doing for the people in your life, and who you’re most worried about when it comes to keeping them safe.

Now, the results are in.

Home IT heroes are taking care of a lot of people – 43% said they’re watching over between three and five people and another 16% said they’re looking after between six and ten people!

And the people home IT heroes are most worried about?

Parents, followed by friends (under the “other” column, many also commented that they’re worried about the in-laws, too).

If you’re a home IT hero, you’re not just worried about protecting the people in your home, like significant others, spouses or your kids. You’ve got to look after people who live all over the place, too.

Friends, neighbors, parents, grandparents … how can you keep track of them all?

Sophos has the answer in the new(ish) free tool, Sophos Home.

With Sophos Home, you can protect the PCs and Macs of everyone you look after – up to 10 in all – from a simple web-based console that’s a snap to use.

All you need to do is sign up for an account, download Sophos Home on to your own computer, and send a link to the people whose security you’re going to manage.

Once they download Sophos Home, their computer is connected via the cloud to your Sophos Home account, and you can manage their security from the Sophos Home Dashboard, using any web browser.


If mom or dad inadvertently downloads malware from a dodgy email attachment, or gets hit by drive-by malware when surfing the web, they’ll be protected automatically.

If it’s the kids’ computers you’re protecting, built-in web filtering software allows you to select categories of websites to block, such as adult content, gambling, drugs or violent websites.

You’ll see an alert in the dashboard about cleaned threats and blocked websites – plus any “potentially unwanted applications” (PUAs) like adware, which you can Allow or Delete.

There’s no time limit – your free Sophos Home account will never expire – and you won’t be bugged with “nagware” asking you to upgrade to a paid version.

With Sophos Home, you have nothing to fear, home IT heroes, and much to gain.

Try out Sophos Home today.

Image of hero courtesy of


I’ve been using Sophos Home for Windows since December. I did have to remove all other AV products from the computer, which is understandable. It seems to be doing a very good job. It blocked a suspicious site. It’s always difficult to tell when an AV product has found a virus. I use the Windows computer for an hour or two a day. The rest of time I’m at work or use a Debian Linux computer at home.


Sophos Anti-Virus for Linux is free as well…not sure if you knew that…

It doesn’t show up in the Sophos Home dashboard (yet) but it has the same core virus detection engine, plus a filter driver to block risky files before they can be opened (real-time or on-access scanning as it is know), just like Sophos on Windows and OS X.


All you need to do is … send a link to the people whose security you’re going to manage

As a bonus, you get to test those people whose security you’re going to manage to see if they’ll click on links in received messages.


Thanks for the update. Hopefully some friends I know can convince their workplaces can be to go sophos enterprise protection after using this home version at their houses.


Does the product include a firewall or does it rely on the standard Microsoft product?


It doesn’t have a firewall of its own (neither on Windows nor OS X). But it does do web filtering, by URI and IP number, not only to block malware but also to give you category-based filtering (e.g. pron, gambling).


Paul, what does the licence say about multi-site? For example, can I install on my folks’ Mac and on my friend’s Windows PC (different site, different internet connection) and monitor both from the one console?


As far as I can recall, that’s perfectly fine. After all, who is only ever online in one place these days?

The cloud-based dashboard is perfect for that because it deals brilliantly simply with computers that move around on the internet.

I think the license limits are pretty simple: 10 computers per Sophos Home account; they mustn’t be computers that are used to run a biz; and you can’t use Sophos Home to run a biz yourself.

(If your Sophos Home friends offer to buy you a drink when you’re in town to say thanks, I think you’re golden. Heck, make it a double. But if you ask them for five bucks a month to run their Sophos Home for them, that’s outside both the spirit and the letter of the licence.)


Sophos Home is nice, but I find myself using Windows & MacOS devices less & less, and Linux & ChromeOS devices more & more.
The feature list for Sophos a/v for Linux doesn’t list browser /webfilter component, so I assume it’s not included – is that the case?
That’s a shame, as that’s actually the most useful & important component. Let’s be honest, most malware is delivered via DbD exploit these days.
Plans to include this feature (assuming it is currently absent) when Sophos Home is expended to support Linux?


SAV for Linux doesn’t have the web category filtering, e.g. “this site has been rated as pron,” but it does look for malware in drive-bys. However, unlike the Windows product, say, there’s nothing that is wuite like the Windows layered service provider (network traffic interceptor).

Having said that:

* Most infectious items go via the filing system, so the Linux file system filter sees them anyway.

* Our network gateway/next-gen firewall is also free for home use, including all the components you can license for biz use, including IPS, web filtering and categorisation, email filtering, VPN, and much more. (You will need a dedicated computer or a VM.)

I’m not sure if or when SAV for Linux will be manageable from Sophos Home’s dashboard. Sorry about that. But it’s Linux, so you can manage it using the “knit 2 perl 1” approach :-)


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