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Windows XP is unsafe: how to upgrade

Windows xpThe long-running Windows XP operating system came to the end of its lifespan in April, when Microsoft stopped updating the software after 13 years of service. Unlike an old DVD player, however, continuing to use an out-of-date computer could put you at risk of a security breach.

What’s the problem with running XP?

Windows XP was the most popular operating system ever, running for 13 years (over double the time of normal operating system). While it had problems during that period, Microsoft was always around to fix any security holes that were discovered.

However, now that Microsoft has retired their long-serving product, any new security holes won’t get fixed. Therefore if a criminal discovers a way of exploiting Windows XP, that issue will continue affecting users indefinitely.

The best way to ensure you’re protected is to upgrade from Windows XP to one of Microsoft’s newer operating systems – either Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Can I upgrade to Windows 7/8?

Windows 7 and 8 don’t need powerful computers to run, so if you’ve bought a system in the last eight years, you should be able to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8 without issue.

Before you upgrade, it’s a good idea to check whether your computer can run a new operating system – otherwise your computer might not work at all. Thankfully, Microsoft offers an Upgrade Assistant for both Windows 7 and 8, which will tell you whether your system will run the new software.

You can download the assistants from the pages below:

The Upgrade Assistants also inform you of any other software on your current computer that won’t run on the new version of Windows, which means you’ll know if moving away from XP will cause any problems.

How do I move my files?

Microsoft also provides a program to help you migrate your old files to your new Windows installation. Visit this page for more information:

What if I don’t want to upgrade?

 If you don’t want to upgrade your operating system, it’s essential that you run anti-virus software like Normans Internet Security Suite on your computer. With Microsoft no longer closing security holes, lots of malicious software could easily sneak into your system.

And once the malware is inside, it could infect files that you might transfer to a newer computer at a later date, infecting future systems.

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