The End of Windows XP: Tips for Surviving “XPocalypse”

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We’ve been getting a lot of questions from clients asking about the discontinuation of Windows XP and how it may effect their business operations. As of December 2013, nearly 30% of all computers were using XP, so a huge number of systems will likely be extra vulnerable over the next few months. If your business uses PC computers, you’re undoubtedly aware of the so-called XPocalypse: as of April 8, Microsoft no longer provides security patches, updates or other support for the XP OS. This change is creating huge challenges for many businesses and organizations regarding online security and data stability.

The XPocalypse Dilemma

On the one hand, you may be frustrated with Microsoft and motivated to invest in new software. On the other hand, you may be scared of making any transition and nervous about the cost of upgrading your software or buying new computer equipment for your team. One thing is clear: you can’t “do nothing,” because your data and processes are vulnerable.

Why Are Companies Afraid?

Businesses that want to stick with XP worry that Windows XP’s new vulnerabilities will be discovered and exploited by hackers and malware. For instance: Microsoft will continue to publish patches for later versions of Vista, but XP has some of the same holes. As a result of publishing this information, Microsoft could inadvertently clue hackers into ways to exploit XP — strategies they may not have found otherwise.

Strategies for Surviving the XPocalypse for Businesses That Want to Keep XP

  • Some experts recommend kicking Internet Explorer to the curb, since support for IE basically stopped on April 8, and no company wants to connect to the internet unsafely.
  • You may also want to install excellent antivirus software, as a proactive way to inoculate your computers and minimize any hacker or malware damage.
  • Experts say businesses should also move beyond Outlook Express for similar security reasons.

 

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