- Identify– Make a list of every device running Windows XP. If you’re using a machine running XP, think twice about doing this in Excel (see tip #5).
- Unplug – Where possible, disconnect these machines from the Internet. It sounds harsh, but it’s the safest choice. Many XP machines may be performing simple functions on older software that don’t need to access the Internet – so limit what they do and reduce your exposure.
- Update – be sure you are running the last version of XP as published by Microsoft on April 8th, 2014.
- Defend – Employ the latest anti-virus software and force updates from Microsoft Security Essentials, Symantec or McAfee.
- Eliminate – On XP machines, stop running Microsoft applications that access the Internet like Explorer, Outlook Express. If you must access the Internet, use Chrome or Firefox, who will continue to support the operating system for a little longer.
- Ban – never use USB drives on these computers again, they have the ability to transport malicious software from XP to your more secure operating systems.
- Avoid – Microsoft has advised XP to never open attachments or instant messages.
- Back-up – be sure to back-up all critical files and data from your XP machine onto a supported device.
- Upgrade – when you have the time and budget, prioritize your XP upgrade. Migrating to a virtual desktop environment will not only keep your business from having to deal with this issue again, it will enable BYOD for your organization and should significantly reduce your hardware costs. Categories: Virtualization
If you must keep using XP machines on the Internet at a minimum take these steps: