With this weeks patching we say good-bye to Windows XP. It seems like only yesterday when we got access to the early beta code and started downloading the discs over a dial-up connection.
We have been asked by many clients about what they should do with their existing XP boxes and how to ensure they are still secure in the future.
Now XP is no longer supported there is no assumption that it can be safe to use online. Even the latest antivirus software will not protect the machine and the data on it.
For most of our clients who were still on XP we took advantage of special pricing and upgraded their systems to brand new machines running windows 8. For those that need XP for specific reasons (mostly commercial printers) then we isolate them from the internet and take a good image backup.
For home machines if the user wants to go online then our best advice is Just Say NO. If you have to go online then assume that you might lose everything and that your data all might get stolen. If you are happy with that i.e. just using an old box for reading the news, then we recommend an update to Firefox or Chrome to get a more secure browser. Keep a close eye on the performance and if anything changes run a full virus scan. If there is nothing of value on your machine then you might be lucky.