Windows XP has been without support from Microsoft for about 2 months now, but there are still some fans of the operating system who have decided to continue using it. Despite concerns over its vulnerability to threats, “Computerworld has projected that the old OS will still run between 33% and 34% of the world’s personal computers at the end of April 2014.” Running an operating system without support entails a certain amount of risk, but sometimes other factors such as budgetary constraints prohibit the immediate upgrade of an operating system. If you’re keeping Windows XP on your machine or machines for the time being, here are some steps you need to take to minimize your machines’ vulnerability or threats.
What to Do If You’re Keeping Windows XP
First things first, you’ll want to install the last XP update. You’ll also want to install a new internet browser for its security features, because XP only supports IE 9, not 10 or 11. Get current firewalls and anti-virus software on the machine. If you have Microsoft Office, patch it fully to the latest version.
Third-party software and browser plugins may be vulnerable, so the best thing to do is uninstall them. Make sure to set the browser to ask you what to do with PDFs instead of opening them by default, which could carry viruses or malware.
If possible, isolate machines running XP on separate networks. If an attack makes it through a vulnerable XP machine, it could easily spread to other computers on the network. Use an NAT router on the network as well to take advantage of its firewall capabilities.
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