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April 24, 2014 at 9:27 pm #8021Anonymous
Microsoft discontinued support for its Windows XP operating system, which means users need to beef up their security practices to cope
Microsoft has shipped its final update for Windows XP, which means all the new security holes will not be patched.
There are roughly 1.5 billion PCs in the world, and it is estimated that 27.7% are still running XP. That's more than 400 million machines.
Since XP is fundamentally much less secure than Windows 7, Windows 8, The quickest way to make a Windows XP machine almost completely secure is to prevent it from accessing the internet.
However, an alternative is to install a copy of Linux on the same PC, or boot Linux from a Live CD, and use that for browsing and email. Dual-booting two operating systems is tedious and time consuming, but at least you can get online while continuing to use the XP software.
The quickest and simplest way to make XP more secure on the internet is to use it from a limited account not “administrator” accounts, because these let you do whatever you like. The problem is that any malware that gets control of your admin account can also do whatever it likes. The solution is to use a “limited” account, which also limits what most malware programs can do.
All XP accounts should be protected by passwords, though many people don't do this
You should also download and use a more secure browser than Internet Explorer 6, 7, or 8. there are several alternatives including
Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
When you have installed Firefox, Chrome or Opera, add a browser extension called HTTPS Everywhere. The “S” indicates that it uses encrypted communications to talk to websites,
Many people update their browsers and desktop software, but completely forget about updating their browser plug-ins . Qualys also offers a browser-checking site.
Again, uninstall any plugins you don't need. This will make your browser slightly more secure, and it will probably run faster
Microsoft has also stopped supporting Office 2003, and this is now vulnerable software. If possible, upgrade to a more recent version, you can use the free but less powerful online Office web apps that are part of Microsoft's free OneDrive cloud storage.
If you only need to read or create relatively simple documents, the free and open source LibreOffice may be a viable alternative.
If there's a program you can't either update or replace, you can run it in a protected sandbox by using another free program called Sandboxie.
If you are still going to use Windows XP, you should also beef up your anti-malware software
Frankly, it would be better to buy an upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8 – now that 8.1 Update 1 deals with the vast majority of complaints about the original version – or install a version of Linux.
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