How to continue using Windows XP safely
We recently wrote about the end of Windows XP tech support and recommended that you upgrade to Windows 7 or above. We understand that not everyone wants to upgrade, be that because of money or otherwise, so we’ve put together a few tips on how to use Windows XP safely, now that you are no longer supported.
Stay Protected Online
As usual, it’s important to use your common sense when using the internet – don’t visit any suspicious websites or ones with a lot of advertisements/pop-ups. If you don’t trust it, don’t visit it.
Secondly, avoid using Internet Explorer. The latest, and most secure, version of Internet Explorer is not available on Windows XP, making the older versions vulnerable. Instead, we recommend opting for either Google Chrome or Firefox. Both browsers are still being updated for Windows XP, so you won’t have to worry about being vulnerable to exploits – they’ll be secure.
Don’t use an Administrator Account
Using an Administrator account lets you do anything – you may notice when you’re using a secondary or guest account and you attempt to install something, you are asked for an administrator password. If you’re planning to continue using Windows XP, we would recommend using a standard (or ‘limited’) account, which restricts what you can do, preventing you from accidentally installing malware, for example.
Firstly, ensure that your Administrator account is password protected. Go to Control Panel, User Accounts, select your Admin account and click ‘Create a password’. Choose something that you’ll remember, but that won’t be easy to guess.
To create a standard account, log into your Administrator account and go to Control Panel and User Accounts again. Then, select Manage another account, then ‘Create a new account’ and make sure that ‘standard user’ (or limited) is selected. Give your account a name and then create the account. Restart your computer and then log into your newly created standard account.
Keep your software updated
Make sure that you update all of your software programs, especially those from Adobe and Java as they are notorious for being vulnerable to attack.
Keep your browsers AND their plug-ins updated to ensure that you can use the web safely.
For a list of the programs your computer uses, simply go to Control Panel and then Programs and Features. Here, you’ll also be able to check and see which programs you don’t need – it’s a good idea to uninstall them.
Antivirus is vital to keep your computer protected. You need to make sure that your antivirus software is updated, and that you run scans regularly. At Nexus, we recommend AVG Internet Security to our customers. You can pick it up for £35+VAT directly from us, and we can even install it onto your machine for you!
Now that support for Windows XP has ended, it’s not the end of the world. You’re free to continue using it. If you’d like to upgrade to a new operating system, call Nexus on 01753 884 700 and we’d be happy to give you our recommendations. Alternatively, you can bring your machine into our Gerrards Cross office and we’ll upgrade it for you!