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Do You have to Upgrade from Windows XP?

UpgradeXPThere are quite a large number of people still using Windows XP, both in business and at home. While most authorities will tell you this is a bad idea, it is still possible to get away with it for a time, as long as you follow very carefully, some steps to secure your computer.

The biggest reason to upgrade is that Microsoft is no longer producing the updates that prevent hackers and other threats from compromising your computer. Doing nothing is not really an option, it will be just a matter of time before you run up against one of these threats.

If you are still running XP it is important that you do a couple of things quickly.

  • First of all you need to make sure you have all the updates that were released prior to Microsoft ending its support. These can be downloaded in the usual way, and most of you will already have these, but it is worth checking.
  • Next you need a good Internet Security application. Microsoft itself provides a free one, called Security Essentials, which will continue to support XP until July 2015. Another popular free application is Avast, which is also still supporting XP. Keep in mind though, it could happen that a flaw in XP will be discovered that cannot be supported by security software.
  • Thirdly, stop using Internet Explorer. XP can only run an older version of IE which is really open to exploits, and no security applications can protect against this vulnerability. The latest versions Firefox and Chrome have kept their browsers XP friendly.
  • Fourth, disable Java in web browsers. To do this go to the Control Panel and select Java from the Classic view. Click the Security tab and deselect the ‘Enable Java content in the browser’ tick box. This may limit some things you can do online, but if you want to use XP it is a sacrifice you will have to make.

For the more adventurous users who are familiar with editing your registry there are some hacks you can do to trick Microsoft into thinking you have a version of XP that runs on cash machines and some tills. Because these versions are still getting updates, and they will work on all the other versions, you could still have updates. If you Google XP update hack, you will find instructions on how to do this.

So while it is still possible to keep XP going, it is a bit of work, and you need to be willing to put some effort into making sure you stay secure, not to mention keeping up with IT news regarding the risks.

My advice is to upgrade to Windows 7; the lion’s share of computers running XP are capable of running Windows 7, but not all. You can go to this site from Microsoft to see if your computer can run Windows 7.

If it can’t, well you have two choices, go through the steps above, or buy a new computer. Of course Cambridge Computer Medic can help you make the right choice. Call 07712 783587 for more info.

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