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So Long Windows XP; Business Owners Beware

After more than a decade Microsoft made the decision to pull the support plug for its still popular Windows XP operating system last April.  Despite giving advance notice of more than a year many home and business operators continue running the aging operating system for a variety of reasons.  If you are one of the millions still depending on your old reliable operating system the end of support raises issues that should be considered, especially as a business owner running Windows XP on company machines.  Will the end of Microsoft support leave XP vulnerable to hackers and cybercrime?  Is it finally time to upgrade? If so what newer operating system is the best fit for your needs?  Most importantly, will updating Windows XP to a newer system, such as Windows 7 or 8, create problems where software is concerned?

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Despite the release of several new operating systems since Windows XP many users stuck with what quickly became a more reliable, less resource intensive product.  Now that Microsoft is finally ending support for the aging platform it is important to look at the facts and make a smart decision about the best product to protect the large amounts of personal information now stored on most business and personal computers.  After April 8, 2014 Microsoft will no longer patch security issues and correct problems.  This lack of updates will allow hackers and cybercriminals to begin exploiting new holes in Windows XP at their leisure without regular patches to close security holes.  The fact that Microsoft is ending support has also led all software companies to discontinue products for the system as well.  What does this mean to you, the end user?

The best option to prepare yourself and protect your personal or business system from future cyber-attacks is to find the best migration option possible for your purposes.  Windows 7 and 8 are both available and Microsoft has made moving data easier than ever.  These operating systems are available through digital download and at your local retailer as well.  Contacting a computer professional may also alleviate some of your concerns.  The main purpose for taking the time and spending the money to upgrade your system is to save yourself time, money and headache down the road should your system be compromised by a cybercriminal.  Costs for maintenance can run anywhere up to £700 a year, not to mention the hours and data lost.  If you are running a business you have even more to lose with all your sensitive personal and financial information available to hackers on an unprotected operating system.  Taking the time now to move your data to a more secure system may save a lot of trouble later.

Windows XP had a great run and many people will continue to utilize the system even after the upcoming end of service date.  While this is an option it may not be the best, especially if you make online purchases, run your banking through your computer and / or run a business using Windows XP.  The lack of security updates may quickly send your searching for a new operating system after running into problems created by malicious cybercriminals taking advantage of the lack of protection as the system continues aging.  Taking the time to weigh your options and choose a newer operating system now, before problems begin can save a lot of time and trouble in the long run.  Take the time to educate yourself and speak with a professional to choose the best option for yourself or your business moving forward.

Are you looking for help moving forward? Call us on 01332 513333 or 01158 240516 to find out how we can help.

Featured photo credit: chsh/ii via photopin cc

Article photo credit: andyi via photopin cc  

Clive Wragg

Clive Wragg

Commercial Director at ICU
Clive Wragg

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