Frustrated Woman at Computer With Stack of PaperThat’s right…April 8 is the end of support for Windows XP and Office 2003.  And you still haven’t upgraded.  Is it really that bad?  What can you do?

Microsoft certainly has some very frightening things to say about the consequences of running Windows XP past April 8.  We’ve compiled a summary at:  http://xprisk.bansheecloud.com

Of course, Microsoft has a vested interest in having everyone upgrade.  So what do the experts say?  See for yourself by going to Google and searching for “Windows XP end of life”.  (You can try it on any search engine, but if we recommended Bing, we could be accused of having you use a Microsoft-owned search site.)

So what can you do about your Windows XP machines?

The best thing to do is upgrade Windows.

John Gracyalny, vice president of information technology for the SafeAmerica Credit Union, says businesses who are reluctant to upgrade should think twice.

“The cost to upgrade is not very high, compared to the potential costs of a breach, both in possible real dollars as well as reputation loss,” he says. Should a hack occur, businesses “are going to look like they just don’t care about their customers’ information.”

It’s the end of the line for Windows XP, USA Today

The cost of upgrading is actually less than you may think.  Microsoft has partnered with many manufacturers and vendors to provide a wide range of discounts and incentives.  We’ve added a few of our own.  For example, you can get up to $300-350 in credit for trading in your old device or computer.  We’ve compiled a list at http://get2promos.bansheecloud.com

Get your XP machines off the internet…now.

Any machine running Windows XP and connected to the internet will be a security vulnerability.  Any vulnerability can become a way for hackers to get into your network, threatening the safety of all the data on your network.

So power off your XP machines or disconnect them from the network if you really want to be safe.

 

Consider other operating systems or devices.

Windows certainly isn’t the only game in town.   Of course, if you haven’t opted to pay for a Windows upgrade, you probably won’t pay more for a Mac.  But Apple is a viable alternative.  Just make sure you keep your Mac protected.  Malware attacks are not as common, yet Mac OS does have its share.  That’s because many more computers are running Windows.  As the saying goes, “Big money draws the flies.”

As an alternative, you can try Linux.   There are different flavors, known as “distributions” — and most are free to download and use.  We recommend Ubuntu for people new to Linux.  The desktop is similar to Windows and we’ve seen people get accustomed to it very quickly.  Just go to www.ubuntu.com

Bear in mind that a lot of business software only runs on Windows.  Sure, you can boot a Mac to Windows, but if you run XP, you’ll still be as vulnerable as anyone else.   And Linux aficionados will say you can use Wine to run Windows software, but it can be a pain to configure and may not have the complete functionality.

 

Yes, upgrade your antivirus…but.

As always, you should have the most up to date anti-malware protection.  But bear in mind that without security updates from Microsoft, third party developers can only do so much to protect your computer.

 

Call us for help!

If you’d like to know more, call us at 424-CLOUD-04 (424-256-8304) or email info@bansheecloud.com

We’d love to discuss your options, in the full context of your business or personal goals.

You can also find out more at:  http://get2modern.bansheecloud.com