Windows XP Support Expiration Doesn't Mean It's Time to Panic
NEWS ANALYSIS: It's far too late to panic if you haven't already migrated to a newer version of Windows. Now you need to decide how to protect your data and what your next move will be.Last time we checked, nearly 30 percent of Windows users were still running XP. This was despite the dire warnings from Microsoft that security updates would stop, leaving the affected computers vulnerable to attack by malware developers. Now that the time has come, some are suggesting that hoards of malware will descend on your computer, seeking to take advantage of your unprotected machine, turning your computer into a zombie, or worse, stealing your data, your identity and financial information. That's the warning. Now let's look at what will actually happen. First, assuming your computer has had every update Microsoft has provided, you have at least a little while in which your freshly patched XP machine will be able to hold out against the forces of evil. But as time goes on, the threat of a security breach on your machine will grow and eventually the built-in protection could yield to malware attacks. Or, at least, that's the official word.
But if you're a sensible user, you've got antivirus or anti-malware software running on your machine that will continue to be updated and which will guard you against most of the malware out there. But you'll be missing one layer of protection at the operating system level.