It’s hard to believe but after two years of warnings, 400million of you still run Windows XP on your computer. And on April 8th Microsoft is ending support. XP is finished – as in NO MORE SECURITY UPDATES for XP. Still running XP you will be officially at risk.
If you do nothing but blindly carry on, you will get bit. Those evil malware authors are just waiting for Microsoft to walk away from XP. You can bet anything on the fact that the bad guys have been saving some of their best ideas for just this day. If you do nothing – you will be quickly infected. April 9th is a good guess.
If you’re one of those 400million and can’t be bothered or are unable to replace your machine for a shiny new one in the next few weeks what should you do?
Here you are the things you must do now:
1. Back up your data: You’d be surprised how many people don’t back up their system and then have a problem and end up losing precious photos, document, tax receipts, etc. Go buy a backup drive from your local shop and invest in an offsite backup service like Carbonite or the many other options. Belt and braces is always the best strategy here. If you are not backed up today – do this now.
2. Update all software and drivers: Make sure Windows update is on and current and go through all the applications you use and make sure they are up to date as well. This will take a day or so, so be patient and go through the process.
3. Set up and use a limited user account: this is a little more complicated and techie, but the only way malware can run on your machine is for you to approve it, but it’s too easy to click ‘yes’ every time Windows asks you. Using a limited account vs the ‘admin’ account you are probably using will make it more difficult for malware to install. (Google: ‘How to Create a New User Account on XP’ for step by step instructions)
4. Install and ‘only’ use the Chrome browser: If you are using the buggy Internet Explorer stop that now and install Google Chrome. Chrome comes with an up to date version of Flash (the most insecure piece of web software) and Google works the hardest to protect you when you’re browsing the web. If you don’t like Google’s prying eyes, run Chrome in incognito mode.
5. Disable Java in your browser: Java plug-ins are also typical paths into your computer, so go into Chrome settings and disable Java. Never allow Java to run unless you are on a site you know to be safe.
6. Anti-virus software: I’m sure the computer savvy Breitbart readers don’t need to be told, but to round out the list, please ensure you have modern anti-virus software installed and that it is set to update automatically.
7. Practice safe computing: Last thing people… do not download software from secondary sources (e.g., download.com), do not open email attachments from unknown senders, when Chrome warns you that a web site is suspicious take heed and do not open it.
Do all this and you’ve probably bought yourself another year of worry free computing. But stay tuned, because come mid-2015 support for important XP application software will begin to fall away and even the most careful surfers may have to pony up for a new machine.
Editor’s Note: Breitbart News Network bears no responsibility if you still get bit. Jeff’s trying to help, but when you’re using an unsecure XP, there’s only so much you can do to protect yourself!