For all those who have been hiding under a rock recently, Microsoft has announced the end of support for Windows XP in April of this year. But system updates are not the only thing that will end. Microsoft Security Essentials, their anti-virus program, will no longer be available for downloads to computers running XP, and there will be no updates for this program for existing installations in XP either.
If you insist on running Windows XP after April 8th, you should therefore take some basic precautions. Switch to an anti-virus program that still has official support for XP. Keep your browser up to date…Chrome and Mozilla both intend to release versions of their browsers at least until April of 2015 that will work in XP. But after the new exploits of XP start coming in, it would be better to keep your XP systems offline.
And you might want to make a clean image of your system, and keep it handy in case you run into something unexpected. There are a number of good backup programs available. Clonezilla is free to download and use.
You can find Microsoft’s announcement for the end of MSE in Windows XP right here.