Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP. As a result, routine security patches will not be released and this means XP machines will have more security vulnerabilities. If you plan to remain on Windows XP after support ends on April 8, here are some tips to keep your system more secure.
Do not use Internet Explorer on your XP machine
Internet Explorer will no longer support Windows XP. Opt for Google Chrome or Firefox instead. PC World says, “Google Chrome will continue supporting Windows XP until at least April 2015, while Mozilla Firefox has no announced plans to stop supporting Windows XP. So switch to Chrome or Firefox and you’ll have a secure, modern browser”
Make sure to use an antivirus program that’s actually receiving updates. Microsoft warns, “Our research shows that the effectiveness of anti-malware solutions on out-of-support operating systems is limited.” Regardless, using updated anti-virus certainly cannot hurt.
Remove Unsecure software
PC World says, “The Java browser plug-in is extremely exploit-prone on any operating system. Unless you really need Java for a specific purpose, you should uninstall it. If you do need it, be sure to disable the browser plug-in and keep it up-to-date.”
Other insecure plug-ins are Adobe Flash and Adobe reader. If you do not need these. You should uninstall them.
Go Offline or Limit Internet Usage
If at all possible, either take your XP machine off line or limit internet use for better security. Services like content protection can limit others on your network from visiting sites that may be harmful to your network.
Confine Windows XP to a Virtual Machine
“Virtual machines are an excellent way to continue using software that requires Windows XP while also upgrading to a newer version of Windows. They allow you to run Windows XP in an isolated container, placing an entire Windows XP system into a window on your desktop. Windows 7 Professional includes Windows XP Mode for just this reason, offering businesses and other professional users the ability to easily set up a Windows XP virtual machine without buying an additional Windows XP license.” Reports PC world
Here is the full article on PC World: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2102606/how-to-keep-your-pc-secure-when-microsoft-ends-windows-xp-support.html