Microsoft has abandoned Windows XP support this week and hackers already started targeting vulnerable operating system. It would be wise to upgrade to one of the newer Windows OS.
Don't forget to like us on FACEBOOK, thanks so much!
After almost 13 years, Windows XP had to retire and that means Microsoft will no longer update and patch this operating system. It had a long run, but all good things come to an end. Most of us will never forget some of its cool features and innovations it brought to the computer world. Default wallpaper, for instance, has become the most popular image in technology and many still use it even on their Windows 7 and 8 systems.
Only few days after Microsoft announced that it will no longer provide support for Windows XP, numerous YouTube videos were published offering adverts for programs to increase the XP security. Malwarebytes found several interesting videos with ads. One was advertising Windows XP Driver Download which leads to a download file for a software that supposedly updates your drivers. I went to test it, but it asked to pay to register and unlock the program, so that was enough reason to abandon and delete the file. There are many others like this one, and it was to be expected. Hackers just couldn’t wait for Microsoft to end the support. If you want to keep the OS for a while here are few tips to help you minimize the risk of being targeted.
Create a Recovery Option
Windows XP used to come with a recovery disk, but you might have lost it. Fortunately there is a native tool built into the operating system to create new set of system recovery disks. Simply click on the Start button, select programs, then accessories and finally system tools. You should see the Backup here and this is used to safely create new recovery disk. There is also software available for download, if for some reason the Backup option doesn’t work. I prefer Acronis software for that, since it images your entire drive, but we all have our own preferences.
Install antivirus software and keep it up to date
Since Microsoft won’t be releasing new security patches, the only way to increase your PC security is to have antivirus software installed and up to date. Free ones like Avast will do the job, though having a professional version is highly recommended, even with the latest OS. You should also make sure your browsers are updated regularly.
Employ Additional Security Steps
Make sure you have downloaded and installed all Windows XP updates that have been released until now. If you are one of the users who don’t need the Internet connection 24/7, unplug it when you’re not using it. While on Internet, do not open spam emails, or any other messages that arrive from an unknown sender. People in your contact list should be OK, though virus scan is always recommended when downloading a file. Same goes for Facebook and any website you might visit to chat and get files.
When you transfer data from removable media, such as USB storage drives, to your PC, always run a virus scan on the drive first.
Probably the most important thing you should do if still using Windows XP is to have a user without administrator privileges. This way, malicious files will have restricted access to your operating system. Use the one with admin privileges only if you really have to.
Although the above steps may help you increase your Windows XP security, you should consider upgrading to Windows 7 at least. Sticking with an old OS will limit your possibilities. For instance, think of what will happen when you need a new hardware. It won’t have XP divers support any longer and you will be stuck with hardware that will not be the best for your PC. Windows 8 isn’t that popular, but we should see Windows 9 out in the near future and that one should be much better. It has always been like that with Windows versions, and as much as it might hurt, you will have to upgrade your OS in a year or two.
Dolores is SEO and Digital Marketing consultant who has been completely hog-washed into doing this site by KC.