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Posts tagged: xp

Windows XP antivirus update

Well slap my face and call me Sally.

Yesterday I posted an article about ditching XP because Microsoft was ending all support, including antivirus support, for that old and aged behemoth. I'll just go ahead and assume that they read my article, because that very same day they announced they will continue to support their security software for both enterprise and consumers through July 14, 2015.

So granny's machine won't turn into a botnet just yet (if it hasn't already). But that doesn't mean you're off the hook.

Update your Windows XP antivirus software

I'm sorry, that title is a bit misleading, but please continue reading.

Because I'm a “computer guy,” people always ask me about what anti-virus software to use, even though I'm avowedly a Mac user and haven't regularly used a PC in almost a decade. What's funny is that the people who ask me those questions are still using the same operating system that I was using all the way back then, Windows XP.

So the thing about protecting your XP box from viruses is:

STOP USING XP.

I mean, seriously. Microsoft is dropping it stone cold dead on April 8, including XP support for my former AV goto Microsoft Security Essentials. There is absolutely no excuse for you to be on XP anymore, even if you're super poor and can't afford a new machine. (In that case, I suggest installing Linux, which is both free as in “free beer” and free as in “freedom”, and is as secure as you want it to be.)

If your IT department requires you to use XP, fire your IT department. If you're neither poor nor have a poor IT department, just pony up for a new PC, install security essentials and be done with it.

If, for some reason I simply wouldn't comprehend, you really insist on keeping XP, you do still need an up-to-date anti-virus, because *I* don't want *your* machine to be turned into a node on a giant spam botnet. I don't really have an official recommendation for what that AV would be, since I would probably just Google it, but Softpedia has a good list of Security Essentials alternatives that you could try.

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