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Windows XP/What to do when XP Support ends?



I have an old laptop running Windows XP, it probably won't have enough power to handle an upgrade to a system like Windows 8, and I would also like to avoid the expense of upgrading, as I have found XP to be a good system for me.  Like others I am concerned about security dangers arising when Microsoft ends their support for XP next month.  Right now I have Avast anti-virus, Super Anti-Spyware, Spyware Blaster, I use McAfee Safe Search, and my browser is Mozilla Firefox.  Is it safe to continue using XP indefinitely provided that I keep up with running my anti-virus programs?  What specific cautions should I use when support for XP ends to protect against infection of the machine (in other words, what kind of things do XP users now take for granted in terms of security, which they won't be able to take for granted anymore when support ends)?  I'm not entirely familiar with what it means for Windows to stop providing support; which programs will be vulnerable when that happens?

Thank you for the help.

Mike,  I still run 2 Windows XP computers and am planning to continue for awhile.
After next month, Microsoft will no longer provide updates to the Windows XP operating system.
This means no more security updates. And means also that eventually some of the application programs (such as browsers) that we use with Windows XP will not be updated.
Here is what I have done on my Windows XP computers:
1) Browser - Mozilla Firefox. Google Chrome is OK also. I understand that both will be supported at least another year.
2) AntiVirus - Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) and Malware Bytes Anti-Malware. Both are free downloads. Find and download using Google search. MSE includes a software firewall which protects against unwanted intruders when online. Be sure to keep all anti-virus databases up-to-date.
3) I use the Microsoft Malicious Software removal program. Free download - about 25mb. Detects and removes rootkits - particularly bad malware. Free updates. Incidentally, some malware prevents the host computer from accessing the Microsoft website so downloading the Malicious Removal software prior to an attack is necessary.
4) I have installed a router between my DSL modem and computer since the router provides a
hardware firewall. And also provides WiFi.
5) Mozilla Thunderbird email. Free download and should be available for awhile longer.
6) Uninstall Java for security reasons. Go to Control Panel and click Add/Remove icon.
7) Shut the browser down when not in use to disconnect from internet. Simple to do with either Chrome or Firefox. Or simply turn computer OFF when not in use.
8) Be security conscious - do not open attachments unless known source; browse only known safe sites.
A Google search on "Windows XP support ends" or some such will undoubtedly give you numerous useful suggestions also.
If I can help on any of these items or any other problem, just ask.

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Carl Johnson


I can answer most questions concerning Windows XP. I am very interested in helping others to keep their older computers running since they can perform well if properly maintained. I am not a software or systems expert but usually can help with program applications problems also.


I am an experienced computer user and an IBM retiree who specialized in computer hardware design and manufacture.

Bachelor and Masters degrees in electrical engineering.

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