Friday, June 19, 2015

Still Using Windows XP? Then Read On!

We've all heard the warnings and the techie nay-sayers scream from the data center rooftops, "Get rid of XP! Abandon XP!" From the standpoint of security, sure it is a idea to move on to a more modern and/or more secure operating system. But there are a good handful of reasons why people cling to Windows XP and if you are one of the more than 25% of the operating system share that chose to do so then here are some tips for you.

Use Anti-Virus Protection: It goes without saying that everyone should use a good anti-virus software. There are still a good number of free suites that are still supporting Windows XP, even if Microsoft is not. Take a look at AVG, Avast!, Comodo and Panda to name a few who have not announced end of Windows XP support dates as of yet.

Use Malware Protection: A very good companion to any anti-virus protection is the use of a good malware scanner. Again, there are many free options. The thing about free versions is that it is completely manually invoked. If you can part with the few dollars for say MalwareBytes Anti-Malware, then the program can be setup to check for updates and scan the system on a schedule.

TIP: While you are downloading MalwareBytes Anti-Malware, pick up the free MalwareBytes Anti-Exploit as well. Just one more layer of protection to help when you are browsing online.

Toss Internet Explorer: Besides the fact that Internet Explorer is stuck in version 8 under Windows XP, it is slow, bogged down and everyone is trying to exploit its many vulnerabilities. Using alternatives like Chrome, Firefox or others is the best way to go because they are still supported, safe and they self update without so much as a normal restart of the browser which we do anyway when we are done browsing, right?

Do Not Use Outlook Express: Like Internet Explorer, Outlook Express has been abandoned by Microsoft and therefore does not receive any love, or updates for that matter. So if you are not ready to abandon the application-style email client for the cloud-based solutions, then check out Mozilla Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail, IncrediMail, etc. Or, if you really like the Outlook experience, fork out $5 per month and get the Office 365 subscription.

Keep Checking Updates: I know, it sounds crazy, right? Didn't Microsoft stop supporting Windows XP? Yes, they did but there may be other elements of Microsoft that have available updates. One such item is the Malicious Software Tool. Also, if there is a major update to any hardware that is still supported then you can get that downloaded too.

So let's review. There are still plenty of users who have not yet given up the Windows XP platform. If you are still using it, all you have to do is be very careful and take some sensible precautions. Be sure that you are also self-monitoring where you go and that you are not being socially-engineered. You can still enjoy one of the greatest operating systems abandoned by least for a couple more years.

No comments:

Post a Comment