Windows XP is finally reaching it’s end of life status. Microsoft is pulling the proverbial plug on April 8th. Read more below:
Official Microsoft Notice: Windows XP End of Support – Microsoft.com:
Microsoft has provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years. But now the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences.
As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive anti-malware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to protect your PC.)
If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.
Why This is Important
Without security patches from Microsoft, Windows XP is left vulnerable to many viruses, malware, trojan horses and root kit hacks. This means that not only could the computer in question stop working properly, but worse, it could appear to work normally but be tracking you and sending your personal information (banking account, credit card numbers, passwords) to a server where the data will later be sold and used for less-than-honest purposes.
What To Do
- Stop using Windows XP on or before April 8th. A new desktop running Windows 7 can be had for less than $300. Or if your computer is less than 5 years old, you should be able to upgrade to Windows 7, the software for this would cost between $100 and $150 depending on the version you get and where you purchase it.
- If you must use Windows XP, disconnect the internet from the machine
- If you must use Windows XP online, make sure you have a current antivirus software on your machine and only use the machine for non-critical use. This means no banking or online purchases.