There are roughly 1.5 billion PCs in the world. Out of those PCs, almost 30% still run Windows XP. If you are part of that statistic, you may be wondering how you can still use XP without becoming the victim of a hacker attack. Well, it’s not easy, but it can be done.
How to Safely Use XP
The most obvious answer here is to stop going online with your XP machine. If you take your system offline, hackers can’t target you. This tactic may work for those people using XP for purposes that don’t require an online login, but it’s far from the most practical approach.
Another way to make sure that hackers don’t get into your system is to install and use Linux. You can run Linux on the same machine that you use to run XP, but booting two operating systems can be tricky – unless you set up a cloud server that lets you run two operating systems at once, like Cloud306.
There are other ways to prevent a XP mess too. You can do the following:
• Update your browser (you shouldn’t be running an old browser version). Unfortunately, Microsoft is not allowing XP users to update to the newest IE10 or IE11, but who needs them? You can use Chrome or Firefox instead. So, if you’re still using an older version of Explorer, it’s time to make the switch.
• Install the ‘HTTPS’ browser extension on Chrome or another browser. This extension will make sure that your connection is secure no matter what site you visit.
• Don’t visit pirate sites. If you’re downloading stuff from an unsecure website with XP, you are at risk. Stick with bigger, commercial, sites.
Keeping Everything Current
It’s really best to stay offline if XP is your only option (and, hey, you get a break from being connected, and that’s not a bad thing). If you have to use the Internet, though, make sure to follow the tips listed above. Another really important thing to do is to make sure that everything you’re running is completely updated. You can’t update Windows XP anymore, but you can update your browser, any programs you’re running, and any browser plugins. It’s now more important than ever before for XP users to keep all programs current, so make sure that everything is up to date.
The basic idea is that running just a few programs means that hackers have fewer things to tap into. If you aren’t’ sure how many programs are running or what you need or don’t need, use a tool that finds and removes unnecessary programs. These tools are available across the Internet, and you can download and use one for free – just make sure that you are accessing a reputable site.
Also, don’t forget to get rid of any plugins that you aren’t using or don’t need (or just disable the ones that you don’t use often). This will help your browser run faster, and it will also keep you from being the target of an attack.
You can’t update XP anymore, but you can protect yourself until you get a new computer.