Chances are many of you are not aware of Microsoft ending support for Windows XP for good on Tuesday.
If not, this means there will be no more updates, bug fixes, security updates or technical support provided for it from Tuesday onwards.
This mightn’t seem like a big deal now, but the longer you rely on it, the greater chances your computer has of being compromised.
If you still have Windows XP (or you know someone who does) and you haven’t done anything to address this, there are a few ways to get around it temporarily.
Grab every available update
If you haven’t already, make sure you have every update available for XP now. While this doesn’t protect you from possible exploits further down the line, it does give you the best possible level of protection you can expect until you upgrade properly.
If you’re relying on Internet Explorer, it’s best to drop it and use another browser instead as Microsoft isn’t providing any more security patches for it.
Instead, Chrome and Firefox are better alternatives and more secure. Google says it will support XP until April 2015 while Firefox hasn’t announced (yet) when it will be ending support so either one is a good choice.
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Check your anti-virus software
While no substitute for upgrading, it’s likely you have one anti-virus software installed on your computer so it’s best to check if it still supports XP. Many are continuing to support the platform so make sure the anti-virus software you’re using is still being updated, as one is useless to you if it’s not keeping up to speed with threats.
Don’t use an admin account
If on the off-chance you do use Windows XP and you end up with a problem, you can limit the damage by using a non-admin account from now on.
While malware or viruses can still infect your computer, you at least prevent it from gaining access to the most important programs and files on it.
Keep it offline
For a fool-proof method, just avoid connecting to the web entirely. For those who have smartphones or tablets, this will be easier to manage while you save up for an upgrade, or an updated computer. Just make sure you scan any external hard-drives or USB sticks on your machine first before you use them.
Upgrade to Windows 7 or 8.1
One of the easier solution will be to upgrade your operating system to a newer version of Windows. The latest update for Windows version 8.1 has introduced a number of small features which makes it easier for keyboard and mouse users to use, which is a good thing since Windows 8 was originally designed with touchscreens in mind.
It has a much steeper learning curve than previous versions of Windows, but once you have an open mind - and the latest changes made to 8.1 help matters a little – it’s probably the better version to opt for.
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However, the problem behind this is if your machine is old enough to be running XP, then it probably isn’t powerful enough to run Windows 8.1, unless you’ve upgraded parts of your computer.
Alternatively – although it will require a bit of digging to get an official paid version – is to upgrade to Windows 7 instead. It’s shares a lot of similarities to Windows XP and so the learning curve is far easier.
To find out if your computer has the required specs for using Windows 8, Microsoft has created Windows Upgrade Assistant, which will find out for you.
Change your operating system
If you have a working knowledge of computers and you don’t want to change your computer or upgrade Windows, then changing your operating system could be the solution you’re looking for.
One of the best (free) versions out there is Ubuntu Linux, which is useful for those who aren’t reliant on Microsoft products and whose current system doesn’t quite meet the requirements for Windows 7 or 8. Although it’s strongly recommended you try out the tour first and read up on it before you commit to it.
Upgrade your computer/laptop
The easiest option by far, although it’s unlikely you will be able to afford to purchase one on a whim.
FFS CD, how many times am I gonna agree with you...But yes, I completely agree with the above post. I have windows 8 ultimate and the only thing ultimate about it is that its ultimate shite
If you have an xp machine just use avg free and have peace of mind.
The below link has the avg rep saying that avg will continue to support
xp for the time being. It will alert you anyway if it's going to be
http://forums.avg.com/ww-en/avg-forums? ... &id=234850
BTW... NEVER put ANY valuables on your "C" drive, EVER... even your gaming, DAW, video editing etc.. programs, if some of it has to go to "c" fine, but the bulk of that programing will be in another drive, just in case... like in "D", a file called "My programs and put all the stuff there (separate folders of course)... I do, but its still on the same HD. Why clutter up your "c" drive anymore then you have to..?
Read more: alert-still-have-windows-xp-on-your-computer-t92602.html#ixzz2yDK94M6v
i agree that its totally a waste of money to have to do all that just to upgrade your os, but if you want to keep your personal data this is what you'd have to do. you'd have to backup your data and restore it after your os upgrade.
Vista is better than 7 in my dumb opinion
There is an article going about nae sure which gooberment it is the US or UK that was gonna pay microsoft to keep XP going as the bank machine ATM's run off of xp also most of the comps in westminster are XP
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/m ... pport.html
The government has signed a deal with Microsoft to provide Windows XP support and security updates across the whole UK public sector for 12 months after commercial support for the operating system ends on 8 April 2014.
The agreement is worth £5.548 million, and covers 'critical' and 'important' security updates for Windows XP, as well as Office 2003 and Exchange 2003, which also go out of support next Tuesday.
The deal, first reported by Computer Weekly, has been negotiated by the new Crown Commercial Service (CCS), set up within the Cabinet Office to act as a single purchasing operation for the public sector. The extended support is available to all of central and local government, charities, schools and the NHS.
“This is an important deal, which will provide continuity for all eligible government and public sector organisations while they migrate on to alternative operating systems," said Rob Wilmot, crown representative for software at CCS.
"It is an excellent example of collaborative purchasing and demonstrates Crown Commercial Service’s new joined-up approach to commercial arrangements to achieve best value for the taxpayer.”
CCS claims the contract has saved in excess of £20 million, compared with individual departments negotiating their own deals. However, this expense could have been avoided althogether if public sector organisations had upgraded their computers to a more modern operating system, such as Windows 7 or Windows 8, before the deadline.
Microsoft first announced the end-of-support date for Windows XP in 2007, so the government has had around seven years to prepare for the deadline. The company’s list price for one year’s custom Windows XP support is $200 per desktop, suggesting that there are over 200,000 computers in the public sector still running Windows XP.
The end of commercial support for Windows XP does not mean it will stop working, simply that Microsoft will stop releasing security patches for the operating system, so any security holes that are discovered after that time will be vulnerable to exploits and malware.
Microsoft has previously warned that the end of Windows XP support will be a starting pistol for hackers, who will scour new updates for any vulnerabilities that could also apply to older versions.
This is why it is so important for organisations that still run Windows XP and deal with sensitive data to pay for continued support – just one vulnerable machine could potentially put an entire network at risk. However it is a stop-gap rather than a permanent solution, and public sector organisations will ultimately still have to pay to upgrade to a newer operating system further down the line.
When asked why the upgrade has not already happened, CCS said that migration can be a "complex and costly process", and that the main priority for public sector organisations is "to ensure a seamless transition".
The CCS has stipulated that any public sector body wishing to take advantage of the extended support must have a plan in place to move off Windows XP, Office 2003 and Exchange 2003 within a year. However, Microsoft estimates that the average large-scale upgrade takes around 18 months.
"Plans are already in place for organisations to migrate to other operating systems over the next 12 months. It is anticipated that the majority will have completed upgrades by April 2015," a Cabinet Office spokesperson told The Telegraph.
Over a quarter of the world’s desktops and laptops still run Windows XP – 27.69 per cent on 31 March 2014, as reported by netmarketshare.com – and reports suggest that over three quarters of UK organisations are still running the the 12 year-old operating system somewhere in their IT estate.
Currently, 85 per cent of NHS computers run on Windows XP, as well as 95 per cent of the world's ATM machines.
So they are still making patches...but you have to pay $100s of dollar to get them...nice!
The Day the World’s ATMs Stood Still—or Didn’t
You’re probably on tenterhooks wondering what will happen to your reliable, convenient ATM on April 8, the day Microsoft officially sticks a fork in its hugely popular Windows XP operating system.
You’re not? Did you know that more than 75 percent of the world’s automated teller machines use XP? And that an outdated operating system no longer supported by its maker is more difficult to secure, keep compliant with government regulations and run with newer software? Now can you feel the tension? That’s more like it.
As of tomorrow, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for Windows XP, which the company released in October 2001. There are about 420,000 ATMs located in banks, bodegas and shopping malls throughout the U.S., and only about one-third of them are likely to have upgraded to Windows 7 or 8.1 before XP officially becomes a relic.
The security implications of not upgrading from Windows XP are unclear. ATMs won’t necessarily become a target for hackers as soon as April 8 arrives. But XP will become less secure over time because Microsoft will stop issuing security patches. This means ATMs will be easier to infect with viruses and generally more hackable. You might not be worried about someone exploiting XP with malware to empty the corner ATM—that’s the ATM owner’s problem. You’ll have plenty to worry about, however, if that same malware steals your card number and PIN.
Individual ATMs tend to hold about $160,000 or so in cash, another reason cyber criminals are less likely to invest the time and money to break into them as opposed to the back-end computers that process ATM transactions, says Nicole Sturgill research director at CEB TowerGroup, a provider of advisory services to banks and other financial institutions. Investigators, for example, traced one of the biggest ATM heists of all time back to a security breach in credit card processing firm RBS Worldpay’s computers, she adds. The thieves used counterfeit cards to steal $9 million from at least 2,100 machines in at least 280 cities worldwide.
Even if most ATM owners aren’t ready for the April 8 deadline, the push to move cash machines beyond XP is generating “the most activity I’ve seen in the ATM world in the past 12 years or so,” Sturgill says. “Consumers are becoming more digital and have less patience for a large, dumb box.”
ATM makers such as NCR jumped at the chance years ago to use Windows on their devices. As a commodity—as opposed to a custom-made—operating system, XP lowered the cost of their machines and broadened their appeal. Now NCR is encouraging its customers to migrate to Windows 7, which can accommodate touchscreen swipe gestures and other capabilities that make ATMs more like a mobile phone or tablet, says Robert Johnston, director of enterprise software marketing for the U.S.’s top ATM supplier.
Whether your local ATMs will be ready for life after XP depends on a number of factors, cost in particular. Banks looking to spice up the ATM experience at their branches are more likely than the corner grocery store to invest the tens of thousands of dollars needed for the higher-end systems that remember user preferences, dispense a variety of denominations and include more teller-like capabilities.
ATMs made within the past five years would need upgrades of $4,000 to $5,000 per machine to ensure the software running on them is compatible with newer versions of Windows, Fortune.com reported March 31.
No amount of software upgrades will be able to extend the lives of Windows XP kiosks a decade or older—they’ll need to be replaced.
Ultimately, April 8 will be a landmark day in the history of ATMs. It just won’t feel like one.
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