Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Securing XP PCs after Microsoft drops support

I stumbled upon this article on the Windows Secrets web site. I don't know why but I let my subscription to their weekly newsletter lapse. I should sign up again.

This is a long article, and I hope I can find time to read it all. If you are planning to use XP beyond April, especially if XP is running on your primary machine, you should definitely read this. I have 2 PCs running XP, but I have them only for supporting my customers and I do not keep anything of value on them. I rely instead on Windows 7 on my desktop and Windows 8 on my laptop. In spite of all the negative press Windows 8 has received,  I have no problems with it. It's a little different, and many of us don't like change like this. I get that. I have used workarounds for the changes that bug me most, but take great comfort in knowing that underneath the covers Windows 8 is very much the same, and therefore very reliable.

"By Susan Bradley on December 19, 2013 in Top Story
All good things must come to an end; in less than four months, Microsoft will officially end support for Windows XP.

Here are the steps I’ll take to ensure that my remaining XP machines are as secure as they can be.

(Note: Many of the following tips can be applied to newer versions of Windows, too.)

What does “end of support” mean? After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will — among other things — no longer release security updates for its 12-year-old operating system. Third-party hardware and software vendors might also take a cue from Redmond and drop development of XP-compatible drivers, add-ons, and utilities on their new products.

With that in mind, all XP users should start by asking themselves: “Do I really need to stick with an OS that will become increasingly unsecure?” It’s akin to driving an older car that’s not equipped with airbags. Sure, it’ll get the job done, but at what potential risk?"