For weeks the news of the impending demise of Windows XP has been floating around. The early scare stories saying how the end of support for this loved Microsoft product would leave everyone exposed to an epidemic of virus and no standard support fixes seemed to be a sly strategy to get the huge community of users to quickly upgrade. Even we ran an article back on January 16 about how Microsoft was ending Windows XP support but not the anti-virus protection. Well the long awaited date has arrived and it is probably wise to make sure you follow some steps to put you in the best position if you have decided to keep the system you love.
And while it is indeed an old operating system that has had thousands of updates over the years, there are a lot of users that seem to just not want to change away from it. If you are in this community then you should take some precautions to make sure you minimize any impact or risk. If you follow the list of steps below and are careful where you wander on the internet and what you connect to then you can relax a little.
Have the most Current Windows – Just make sure you have the latest and greatest version of Windows XP. Simply go to Windows Update on your computer and let it do it’s thing. (make sure your version of XP is secure and make a backup – just in case).
Anti-Virus Protection – As stated in the earlier article, Microsoft will continue supporting the Security Essentials add on until July of next year. Make sure that this is up to date by opening it and asking it to update (it normally does this on it’s own but let’s make sure).
Your Browser – The most heinous and nasty attacks to your computer will usually arrive through your internet browser as you work online, or simply surf. Make sure the browser you are running is up to date and is as hardened as possible against these security threats. Since Windows XP will not be updating and it’s Security Essentials is on limited time it is key to select the browser that fits your needs and is secure.
Where you Go – Since the one area that is of greatest concern on all of this is security and protecting yourself against virus’ and malware, it is even more urgent that you are extremely diligent in where you go on the internet and what you do. Avoid no trusted sites as much as possible, exercise extreme caution when opening email attachments and the same is true in regards to clicking on Facebook and other social media links. Just be wise and cautious.
What you Connect – We have all downloaded something from friends or colleagues but now you need to be very careful with this. You really can’t afford to be cavalier in this regard… protect your assets at all costs!
So now you have done the best you can to protect yourself. Yet the best position to be in will still be to upgrade to a more current system as soon as you can work it into your plans. All systems have launch dates and as we all know they also have an eventual end date. So chug along as you are for the moment but the wise amongst you will step up sooner as opposed to later.