With official Microsoft support for XP ending soon, it’s important to get the final patches.
Plus: Purchasing extended XP support, the usual round of IE and Flash updates, and another big batch of nonsecurity fixes for Win8 and Office.
Preparing for the April 8 XP end-of-life event
Microsoft is pulling out all the stops to get the word out that its support for Windows XP will end soon. That campaign includes an update — KB 2934207 (Figure 1) — containing a popup warning (Figure 2) about the April 8 cutoff. This is just one of the many ways Microsoft is ensuring that all XP users know of the April deadline.
If you keep any sensitive information (other than links to your favorite cat videos) on your XP system, I strongly recommend being extremely careful about which sites you visit online after April 8. Better yet, limit your Web browsing to a more modern device such as a tablet or TV set–top box.
If, going forward, you must use Windows XP for accessing the Internet, don’t use Internet Explorer. Remove Adobe Flash Player and Java (two of the most common paths for infections) and run Chrome — or use Firefox with NoScript (site) installed.
Because a significant number of Windows Secrets readers still use XP, other WS contributors and I plan to post alerts of security issues you might face come April 9. Because Windows Server 2003 will still get updates for another year, we’ll have a better idea of what vulnerabilities XP users face and what’s not getting patched.