If you use Windows XP, as of April 8, it’s (past) time to update

xp

Windows XP. It was released in 2001, and it was the shiny new operating system on the block. If you set up your business with Windows XP, you had the best you could get. And it felt good.

Over time, XP has slowly and surely become outdated. But it still works, pretty well, most of the time for your business, so you’ve stuck with it. New systems demand a learning curve and demand money. You’re scared you might not be able to access your old information or files, you don’t have the time, and it’s worked OK so far, so why update?

Do you remember the attack on the Target point-of-sale systems at the end of 2013? Information, credit card numbers, names, addresses, phone numbers, was stolen from 70 million people when they swiped their cards on what was a Microsoft operating system. These systems aren’t perfect, but Microsoft does what it can to try and protect its systems from criminals by releasing updates that slam the backdoors hackers try and use to get in.

But as of April 8, 2014, it’s no longer going to be providing security updates for Windows XP.

Those backdoors won’t get shut anymore. Until now, Microsoft has been releasing security updates to help patch any leaks in the system that could be exploited by hackers or virus writers. After April 8, if you’re still using Windows XP, all you’re relying on to keep your system safe is your anti-virus program. And the next anti-virus updates won’t cover your out of date system.

You’ll be vulnerable to attack and shocked if something happens, but you don’t have to be. Many IT issues are predictable, and this is one of those times. If you’ve been putting off updating, you really don’t have an excuse for it anymore. If you don’t update, you’re saying, hey hacker, come over here and take advantage of me! I don’t care enough about my business and my customers to protect my information.

You’re better than that. Update with new servers and workstations if you’re still on XP. You can’t wait anymore.

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