Thursday, 01 May 2014 12:04

XP is vunerable so replace it now

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Cryptolocker Virus targets old XP computers - replace XP now, it is a liability

I was going to write this article for next month but I've had a couple of phone calls regarding viruses appearing on XP computers since Microsoft ended releasing security patches at the beginning of April

XP is Microsoft's old operating system and if your system is running it then you are also at risk. I don't tend to worry about 'end of life' products as they can usually keep going until they stop under their own steam but various ne'er do wells are now targetting these older systems with malware and viruses. The latest phone call was from a small company running three XP systems. They now appear to have been hit by the crytolocker virus and that's not good for them or the data that they had on the system. There is no fix for this, that system is practically dead and any information on it has gone with it. My heart sank when I got this call

This is a slightly alarmist message but I feel quite strongly now that these attacks have arrived far faster than I realised and this report should have been emailed to you all last month

The BBC also noted at the beginning of the week that a security vunerability had been discovered in Internet Explorer and this would not be fixed for Windows XP so a double whammy there from Microsoft. If you are using Internet Explorer it maybe worth downloading Mozilla Firefox and using that whatever system you are using

Do I have XP?

Here's how to find out if you have XP - If you have a PC then look on the side of the main box and if you have a laptop turn it over and look for a label like this


The label should, if still legible, say XP, Vista, Windows 7 or if it's new Windows 8. If it says XP read onI have XP so what are my choices?

Simple put, your choices boil down to upgrade or buy a new PC/laptop. Sticking with XP is not a choice unless you really don't care what's on your system or who knows what about you

I have gone to the trouble of going through offerings on Amazon balancing price with performance. These seems to be the best bet at this point in time. If you want Windows 8 then you can go into PC world and ask for an i5 or AMD equivalent machine - don't buy i3 it's too slow in my opinion. If a laptop is your thing then take a trip to John Lewis at High Wycombe. They offer a two year gurantee on most models

You can read more here for more on buying and building PCs

You can also call me if you want a purpose built machine which will be much faster and more robust - you can contact me on 0752 8000 190

Can I just swap my XP for Windows 7

Yes you can if your system was orginally built with Vista in mind and you can test this using the Windows 7 advisory tool created by Microsoft. Download it here

Transfering your data from old XP to new PC

Remember you will need to be able to transfer all your data and emails from the old XP system to your new computer. This may include Office (Word, Excell, Powerpoint) and if it's the old 2003 version then you need to buy the new 2013 version as the old doesn't work on the modern systemsYou can check this by starting Word and clicking on the 'help' tab at the top and then clicking on 'About Word'

Remember to choose the right version of Office. If you use Outlook then you need to replace it wuth the Professional version

If you want me to setup your new system for you then call me on 0752 8000 190

I have absolutely no money, any other ideas?

Well yes - you can remove XP and install Ubuntu which is linux but this is a massive change and you will be swapping the familiarity of Windows for something that works more like a Mac. This will still cost you time but is an alternative. I'm currently creating this article on a ubuntu system and I create all my websites on one

You can check out ubuntu here

If you want more assistance you can always just call me 0752 8000 190

This is not the best article I've had to write but things have moved swiftly, much more swiftly than usual and XP systems are now a complete liabilityIf you decide to do nothing then PLEASE, PLEASE Backup your files onto a seperate portable hard drive. You can get these from Maplin in Stafferton Way for about £60 or here on Amazon which is cheaper

Remember BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP

Thanks

Read 80959 times Last modified on Monday, 12 May 2014 10:30

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