should you stop using Windows XP?

Surviving the Death of Windows XP

Surviving the Death of Windows XP

Last week, we asked our experts to offer advice to PC users dealing with the Windows XP EOL. Dave at PCTechBytes picks up on that idea.–PC Pitstop.

By Dave for PCTechBytes.com

On April 8th 2014, Microsoft will unplug life support for Windows XP. There will be no more security updates or tech support for the beloved Operating System that has been the workhorse OS for business and home users for the past 12 years. But what does this mean for the millions of users still running Windows XP on their computers? Is it still safe? Is it time to buy new hardware or is there a way to install a more current Operating System?

The following are a series of questions and answers posed to tech professionals in our forums:

If a relative of yours is still running Windows XP on April 9th, what advice would you give them?

Dr Bob: Do not panic and run out and buy anything with a shiny new Windows 7 or 8 sticker. All of the updates up until the end will still be available via Windows Update after the fact. There will be a grace period after XP support ends where everything is still fine, but once the hackers figure out new holes, you will be vulnerable. So either be very vigilant in your web based activities, malware/virus scanning, programs and emails or upgrade to a new OS/PC. It might not be a bad time to update to 7 just to get your feet wet for the newer OS like Windows 8 and beyond.

Dave: If you’re going to stick with XP, it’s important to tighten up the security the best way you can. Do the following:

Proceed to Windows Update and grab the last of the updates.

Uninstall the applications that are chronic entry points for malware, such as Java and Adobe Reader.

Run As A Standard User – Chances are you user account has administrative privileges, meaning you have the ability to install applications and change the computer’s configuration. If you’re running as administrator, a virus attempting to run on your system also has admin rights. Create a new user account and give it administrator rights. Then log into that new admin account and change your current user account to a standard user.

Change Your Browser – If you use the default Internet browser on Windows XP, chances are it’s, at best, IE 8. The current version is IE11 and since XP cannot use any other version beyond IE8, it’s best to change your web browser to something more modern, like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

People who are running Windows XP might not be able to upgrade their Operating System to Windows 7 or 8 due to hardware incompatibility. What advice would you give them?

Dave: Again, if you’re forced to stay with XP, do what you can to lock it down. If you are not comfortable having that machine online, disconnect your Internet and use it as a stand-alone computer until you can upgrade.

Dr Bob: Same as the advice above actually if it is an individual. A company would receive different advice unless sitting behind a hefty physical firewall and limited user activity with the outside world. Companies stand to lose a lot more if one of their outdated XP machines catches a cold. Financial info as well as company specific data could be lost or worse sold to the competition. Personally, here where I work, I am going to try and keep all XP machines off the internet but still allow them intranet access before they are eventually upgraded.

Survival Tips continued here

This post is excerpted with the permission of PCTechBytes.com

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14 thoughts on “Surviving the Death of Windows XP

  1. Linux Mint for old XP users , if you can burn a cd , it's free. with themes you could make it look like windows XP, and 7 or 8 , and lots more themes to choose from to make it costunize to your likings. You could install Linux Mint alongside Windows if you want. So you could safely browse the internet by using Mint, and keep your XP for using Windows software or games. Visit YouTube and take a look at some linux reviews. Good Luck

  2. I purchased a refurb windows 7 pro from microcenter ….. I will still use my xp for non-critical work ….. I use Ubuntu Linux on another machine …… though its hard to find programs I use to run on it ……. Ubuntu distributions go out of date too so I wont do any banking on it …..as the security on it is questionable …. All pcs call fall victim to spyware as long as you go on the internet …. try a refurb and load Linux on your old xp …… thunderbird mail works just like outlook express on Ubuntu linux

  3. I have an offline Windows XP box just for a couple of games I can’t use on Linux, for the rest I have a laptop which dual boots into XP/Linux. On the XP side, the network adapter is disabled, if I need to send a file, I can switch to Linux and just grab the file from the XP partition and email it or whatever I need.

  4. UBUNTU works, have been using it for about a year now. Painless. And, the tax apps will be forthcoming, I assume. Alternatively, I still have pencils and math skills.

  5. Thanks for the excellent article. I took my XP desktop to Staples for upgrade to Win 7, which they installed in an additional, new hard drive. I now have the use of both OS’s and am very pleased. (Yes, a few kinks have crept into XP but I’m now cleaning them out.) This way, all my files are intact and I can move them into Win 7 at my own pace.
    Harry

  6. I can not upgrade to 7 my laptop is not compatible(dealing with intel(not paying to upgrade) and my graphics card and anyone upgrading to 7 or 8 will not be able to downgrade(both are crap, why would anyone want crap OS’s is beyond me), I was looking into Linux but I would not be able to even play my windows games(Diablo 2 is an example). Also9 can not afford no new one(if have to upgrade will be 7 but very pricy) and not going to stay offline to please anyone, I do have good security on this laptop.

  7. I bought a Windows 8 laptop more than a year ago. My Old Windows 7 had hardware problems and 8 was all that was available in local stores. My Old Windows 7 was a backup and my main computer was an XP. After many attempts at re-installing Windows 8, I ordered a new Windows 7 laptop on line. I am still going to miss XP. Search worked better than on XP than on Vista or Windows 7. Some of my Apps worked better on XP, as well. My fantasy is that someone will re-introduce a version of XP with current security and current ability to handle all the other new garbage without slowing down.

  8. I am in the same boat as Wayne Hughes. But I do have an I-Pad which I plan to use for my banking. Is that going to be safe?

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