Bill is concerned that he could fall foul to hackers with security updates ceasing.
Microsoft has announced that Windows XP will no longer be supported with updates from 8 April 2014 and Bill wants to know if he needs to upgrade.
I am a 74-year-old pensioner with a PC running on Windows XP software. I read in a major newspaper that Microsoft will no longer be supporting XP from April 2014 onwards. I do all my banking and bill payments online and am concerned that if I continue to use Windows XP, I could fall victim to hacking.
Can you please look into this and tell me what my options are?
You are one of many Windows users around the world who still use Windows XP as their operating system, so you certainly aren’t alone in this boat. I would firstly like to say, this does seem fairly poor practise from Microsoft to suddenly stop supporting a product with security updates. It smells of a company wanting to on-sell a newer version of its product.
Microsoft did report that after 8 April 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates. This does put your computer ‘at risk’ in a sense, but as long as you don’t visit unscrupulous websites, maintain an anti-virus scanner and firewall program and don’t open email attachments or click links from people you don’t know, there is minimal chance that things could go wrong.
If you are still concerned and don’t want to take any risks, you have two main options available. The first is to upgrade to a newer version of Windows. This could be a small upgrade to Windows Vista (you would need to find a friend or family member with a copy), or an upgrade to the latest version of Windows, Windows 8. It is important to realise that Windows 8 has minimum requirements for installation so you should check that your computer is fast enough for this. The second option is to buy a brand new computer. As you are a pensioner, this may not be a viable option for you, or for many other people using Windows XP currently, but you could enquire at Centrelink about programs such as WorkVentures, which allows customers to purchase refurbished PCS, with affordable instalments taken from their pensions.
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