It has been more than 10 years since Microsoft launched Windows XP and while there are people who still use this operating system, the company stopped offering support after April 8th 2014. This means that XP users will not longer get new security updates and patches.
Without support, XP will become unreliable, insecure, and incompatible with advanced hardware. However, this does not mean that you have to stop using the operating system right away. There are certain steps you can take to keep your operating system working while reducing the risks associated with using an OS after support ceases.
One of the main concerns about the end of XP support is the conclusion of security patches. In reality, there will be no immediate changes. The end of support will not have a negative impact on current XP installations.
In addition, you do not have to worry about disabled features or compulsory updates. It will be possible to access technical support but not from Microsoft.
Install an Anti-Virus and Update Windows
This is the first step you should take when Microsoft ends support for XP because you will not get new security patches. Security threats are always developing and with the end of support, your XP computer will not have the patches it needs to neutralize them.
You should expect the security to degrade with time. There is little you can do about the security degradation but you can do more to protect your computer. Consult IT support specialists to learn how you can protect your XP machine.
You need to get a reliable antivirus to ensure your XP machine remains safe from security threats after the support ceases. Avira and Avast are two of the antivirus options that you can try.
It is also important to make sure you have relevant Windows updates. Your browser also needs to have essential plug-ins such as Java. These plug-ins should be updated to the latest version. Back up your data to ensure you do not lose anything.
Stock Necessary Software and Drivers
When Microsoft ends support for XP, manufacturers will also shift focus from this operating system. This means that you may find it difficult to get XP compatible software and drivers over time.
Stock necessary software and drivers required by your hardware. Keep them safe with a flash drive. You will need them if any of your drivers become corrupted or have to re-install the operating system.
Find XP Forums
The end of Microsoft support for XP does not mean that the millions who still use this operating software will abandon it and you will definitely find some helpful XP forums. These forums will come in handy when you have to troubleshoot your XP machine. They will be a source of valuable tips if you come across an issue with your operating system. Some of the forums you can join include WindowsBBS, XPforums.com, and Windows Forums.
You should think about a Windows upgrade but this does not have to happen right away. It is still possible to use your XP machine for another couple of years before you switch to Windows 8 by taking these measures.