Windows XP was released in October 2001. You may or may not know that Microsoft is ending support for the XP operating system on 8th April 2014. This does not mean that an XP system will stop working but means there will not be any more updates for it. Most importantly it means that there will be no more security updates for vulnerabilities in XP. These exploits could come in the form of a virus or hacker gaining access or control of a PC/Laptop. Currently if an exploit is found an update could be release to block that specific security flaw, after the April deadline that will no longer be the case.
What does this mean in real terms?
At present Windows XP is 33% more vulnerable to viruses/hackers than Windows 7 & 8, this is also at a time where Microsoft is actively monitoring hacker exploits and vulnerabilities for XP. After April 2014, (for XP) this percentage will undoubtable increase and the security updates will never come and exploits will remain unchallenged indefinitely.
XP systems will still be protected by Anti-Virus software, which actively monitors your PC for viruses. This will still provide an element of security, however I feel XP owners will really need a premium internet security package that incorporates a firewall to stay secure. The Firewall acts like a doorman for your computer which controls data that comes in and out of your PC. From April 2014 the XP Firewall will no longer have an up to date configuration on what new threats it should block. Most free Anti-Virus programs do not incorporate a firewall and therefore will use the built in Windows XP Firewall, creating a risk.
This is a short article and I have to cover things briefly but attempt to make them understandable, which I hope I have. If you have any concerns please get in touch by phone or on email. Ian.