XP Demise

xpSo Taxes are due on April 15th, but on April 8th this year, Microsoft stops support for Windows XP. Kind of a double wammy, if you have a computer that was purchased in 2007 or earlier you have XP. Newer Windows can be recognized by a round start button in the lower left of the screen whereas XP has a green rectangle there.

What does it mean when Microsoft, “stops support?” All vendors have limited resources so can only put effort forth to keep up current versions of their products; e.g. try getting parts for an old car. Extra parts are made when the car is manufactured but when those are exhausted, you can’t get them from the manufacture anymore. So it is with software. Microsoft is out of “spare parts” for XP and is not going to make any more.

How does this impact the consumer who has XP? When a part of software is found not to function properly or it is found that it can be used to get into your computer and cause problems it is normally updated to fix the problem. This is done automatically. On April 8th this will stop. Problems that attackers find in Windows will be fixed on Vista, Windows 7 & 8 but not for Windows 98, ME, XP or any of the earlier versions of Windows.

Thus, attackers that scan the Internet for older computer will find these computers and use them for their various and nefarious purposes. Internet security programs will help for a while but those will stop support for XP soon too.

What to do?
1. If you unplug your network cable from your older computer it will stop the most prevalent means of infecting it. Naturally you won’t be able to surf, get email, check facebook etc.
2. You can upgrade your computer to a newer version of Windows. A common way to check if your computer can be upgraded is to run the program found at
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=20
3. You can also get a new computer and migrate your information to the new computer. Migration is quick, easy and inexpensive if your computer has not become infected.

Give us a call at Affinity Computer Masters. We can help you find a solution for your computer environment; we have an “affinity” for You and your Computer. Call Affinity at 350-6984.