Today I took a very brave step. I installed Linux on my mother-in-law's laptop.
The reason I installed Linux on her laptop is because despite my continued attempts to keep her system from getting infected with malware, she continues to be the victim of drive-by downloads.
So, to help mitigate this recurring issue, I completely wiped her PC and installed Linux.
Why Linux? Because most malware which targets home users attacks Windows or Mac systems.
Now, something to keep in mind is that this solution is not for everyone. Before I wiped her PC, I confirmed with her multiple times that there was nothing on it she needed, and that all she uses it for is web browsing. It's important to note that while most people only use their PCs for Internet and word processing, some do use specialized software, so consult with your family member before trying to replace their operating system.
Before wiping a PC, it's important to make sure that all of the drivers will work with that PC. The best option is to boot the PC using a LiveCD before actually committing the install. I personally used CentOS 6 but there are many options, including Fedora or Ubuntu.
Once you have the PC up and running with the LiveCD, make sure the person can still use the PC for everything they need. Ask them to visit the Internet sites they regularly visit, and make sure they still work. Note any dependencies they might need, such as Java or Flash.
After you are comfortable that the person will be able to still use their computer, go ahead and install Linux from the LiveCD to the hard disk, so that any favorites/bookmarks the person creates will stay, as well as any dependencies you install.
Hopefully by replacing the PC's operating system with Linux, you'll have fewer visits to fix malware infections. However, don't be surprised if you have to answer a few calls on how to do something with their new OS.
I'll let you know what issues are encountered in Chapter Two!