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Windows XP users, you have 3 weeks left before your computer enters a heightened risk of malware attack

Windows XP users, you have 3 weeks left before your computer enters a heightened risk of malware attack

I've previously provided plenty of warnings to our membership still using Windows XP (and I know that there are still plenty of you out there). Time is fast running out. I do not want to hear sad tales of your computer being hacked, irreplaceable files lost, bank accounts being raided, etc after the 8th of April.

Here's another good summary of the risks you'll be accepting if you keep your Windows XP computer linked to the internet beyond this date -

The end is nigh for Windows XP: are you ready?

For more information on options available to you after 8th April, see the link below:

General tips on improving your online security are covered here:


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Still not sure how to replace your existing Windows XP computer after reading the linked article in the above post?

To summarise, if (as is most likely the case) the computer isn't worth upgrading due to its increasing risk of dying due to hardware failure, you have the choice of switching to a tablet if you rarely use your computer for other than viewing content, or you could buy another computer. Apple has a good reputation for providing solutions that 'just work', though arguably at a higher initial cost. If you want to stick with Microsoft Windows, I'd avoid Windows 8 (vastly different from Windows XP) and either try and find a computer that has Windows 7 installed or negotiate for this to be installed at no cost if you don't like Windows 8. Failing that, Microsoft are about to release Windows 8.1 Update 1 and upgrading to this may work for you.

Yes it appears that Microsoft have addressed the major complaints levied at Windows 8 in their conveniently timed release of Windows 8.1 Update 1. You can read more about this here:

If you think your existing Windows XP computer hardware is worth hanging on to, but can't justify or afford paying for an upgrade, Linux based operating systems are free - though you may need to pay someone to install it for you.

Here's an article about a Linux distribution (or distro) that has been custom designed to work very similar to Windows XP:

Note that you will not be able to run programs that you specifically bought for your XP computer (though the Wine program will enable you to install and run some programs written for XP). Also getting your printer and other peripherals to work with Linux may be difficult or impossible.

Distrowatch tracks the different Linux distros and provides easy access to the download files along with reviews of many of the popular distros, including Zorin:

Linux is definitely not for those that don't like to fiddle with [ or customise :) ] their computer, but for those that enjoy technology and the freedom that comes with open source software, it may be the perfect move. I've been using Linux for personal computing for 15 years and seldom use Windows.



XP was arguably the best Microsoft operating system... RIP

Consider going mobile... don't invest a penny into 5year or older hardware... take it to the recycle centre.

To everything turn, turn, turn...


Here's Gizmag's suggestions -

Windows XP support ends April 8: What are your options?


If you are still using Windows XP, immediately stop using Internet Explorer to browse the web. Use an alternative free browser like Chrome, Firefox or Opera NOW and hasten your move to another operating system.

Hackers have now found the first post-retirement Windows XP-related vulnerability in multiple versions of Internet Explorer by looking at patches about to be released for other Microsoft Windows operating systems. As Windows XP is no longer patched by Microsoft, over time more and more of these vulnerabilities will be identified and exploited.

There will be more and more malware entry points which will be sought out by scripts that will automatically scan the internet for Windows XP computers and then use those vulnerabilities to install all kinds of nasties. You don't want to have personal experience of these.



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