Windows XP – Do I need to upgrade?

After 12 years, support for Windows XP will end on April 8, 2014 – but what does this mean for users?

This means that in theory Microsoft won’t release anymore security updates to fix issues that computer hackers exploit. Microsoft will continue to do so for governments and high end users who are paying for this privilege, but for normal business and home users there will be no-more updates. Microsoft inevitably are trying to scare people into upgrading so they can sell Windows 7 and 8 – but do we really need to worry?

Business UseĀ – This is a no-brainer for businesses, if you don’t upgrade to Vista, Windows 7 or 8 you could end up with significant downtime and potential security problems. If your computer doesn’t connect to the internet or use is minimal, then there is obviously less risk, but we would suggest remaining on XP unless you really have to. If you are staying with any computers on XP, then make sure you have a robust and updated Internet Security package installed and if practical block internet access from that PC.

Home Users – It would always be recommended to upgrade if you can, as its hard to predict what security issues could arise. However particularly if you’re a low use user, potential downtime and issues arising may be worth your risk compared with the cost of upgrading. However if your computer is used for sensitive documents, banking etc… its worth pointing out that these things could potentially be at risk. If you do intend to remain with Windows XP make sure have a robust and updated Internet Security package. Unfortunately you won’t be able to continue to use Microsoft Security Essentials as Microsoft are ceasing to support this on XP also. Something like Panda Internet Security provides some of the best security i’ve seen so far.

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