Microsoft retired its 12-year-old Windows XP operating system on Tuesday. Even so, there are still millions of XP computers out there. If you have one of these, do the following:
What will happen on Tuesday?
– Microsoft Corp. will release its final update to fix known security vulnerabilities for XP.
– After that, the XP machine will still work and you can install past security updates. You won’t get new ones to address any new security holes.
– Your machine will be exposed to greater security risks. Because hackers know that Microsoft will no longer release updates, they have an extra incentive to hunt for security holes.
Can I upgrade my computer?
– Check here to see if your computer is running Windows XP: http://amirunningxp.com
– If yes, run the tool here to see if your computer is powerful enough to upgrade: http://bit.ly/KkZERx
– If you can upgrade, you can buy the latest Windows 8 version on DVD for $120: http://bit.ly/1mQBzCe
– You will need to back up your files and have discs of old programs ready, as the upgrade will require your hard drive to be wiped. Microsoft has a step-by-step tutorial: http://bit.ly/1mYSYEj
– Remember, the $120 is better spent on a new computer. You’ll get something stronger.
What if I continue to use my XP computer regardless of the risk?
– Make sure to run all previously released updates, plus the last update released on Tuesday.
– If you don’t need internet connection, please unplug it. This will minimize the risk. Be careful when connecting USB storage drives as this may introduce malware.
– If you need to go online, please avoid email, Facebook and other communication channels where malware can spread.
– It’s also a good idea to lock down your computer with a profile that lacks administrative rights and remove old software that you no longer need.
Where can I get more information?
– What End of Support means: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help – Upgrade information: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/ upgrade to windows-8