What is Windows XP end of support?
Despite the frequent introduction by Microsoft of newer versions of its Windows operating system over the years, many business and home PC users are still using Windows XP, which was replaced back in 2007.
However, Microsoft finally ceased support for XP on April 8th 2014 and will therefore no longer be issuing updates, security patches, bug fixes and Microsoft Security Essentials for the operating system.
Your machine is vulnerable
As no security updates will be issued, your PC running Windows XP will be highly vulnerable to infection by malware, with criminals being well aware of the vulnerability.
Such malware could be used by criminals for a number of purposes, including:
- Stealing your personal and financial details in order to commit fraud.
- Committing identity theft by applying for bank accounts, passports and other facilities in your name.
- Monitoring your email and other communications.
- Recruiting your PC to be part of a botnet, commonly used to attack corporate or government websites.
Additional risks for businesses
In addition to the above, it will become more difficult to get your XP PC serviced or repaired, an increasing number of devices and software programs will no longer work with Windows XP, and a decreasing number of independent hardware and software support vendors will be able to provide services for Windows XP systems.
You also risk unauthorised entry into your information systems which could lead to your data being accessed or stolen, non-compliance with insurers’ and/or customers’ standards and a breach of the Data Protection Act.
Please note that Microsoft will continue to provide virus warnings for Windows XP until July 14th 2015. Many anti-virus software companies will also continue to update their products to spot malware targeted at the operating system. This does NOT mean, however, that patches and fixes will be available, and users still need to find a solution.
Before you do anything, it is very important that you back up the data on your PC and ensure that it can be accessed and recovered on another machine.
If you require help in upgrading your current PC, call Logic for a quote.