Source: @Thurrott & @TheRomit
Unless you’re an alien visiting earth for the first time today or you’ve been living under a rock, no doubt you’ve been bombarded with the so-called death of the most veritable OS on the planet today: Windows XP!
Yes, XP is officially dead today. Tomorrow is the day after and still you haven’t upgraded to a modern OS, or you cat just pissed on your shiny modern device, now you have to use XP for a while. Well, we know there will be some of you roughnecks or by chance still using the OS after its demise; this advice is for you then to make your life bearable.
Warning: All advice given here does not replace upgrading to a modern “Safe” OS. You are aware of your own risk staying on a Dead OS! (Sorry we just have to insert that Legal bit).
If you MUST continue to use XP, hopefully for a short while, please follow the following advise:
- Take an Image or Backup of today!Since you know that you will be hacked, it not a question of if but a question of when, take now a complete backup/image of your system and keep it in a safe place, preferably an external HDD. Never connect this HDD to your PC, ever, unless you want to restore. You cannot trust your XP box as from now on, so you will need this baseline to return to once you start noticing weird behaviors on your machine. You will use this backup to always restore to a known safe state.
- Run as standard userWe’ve told you guys all the time, anyone surfing the Internet as an administrator should be jailed without parole. :-) You’re namely helping perpetuate internet malady by surfing as admin as you’re basically giving you computer away to hackers.So create an ADMIN account, designate it as the ONLY administrator on your device. Never surf under that account, but use it to install Antivirus and other Safety software. I know running as standard user under XP sucks, but then this is your choice.
When you surf as standard user, any hacker that pawn you only has limited access to your machine. Yes, I know there are Jedi Hackers who could bypass your Standard account, but believe me they all work for the NSA. :-) At lease you’re safe from script-kiddies.
- Run 3rd party AV[Update: Please disregard the information below. We’ve just been informed support for Microsoft Security Essentials has ceased at the same time with Windows XP, so please remove MSE and install IMMEDIATELY a 3rd Party Antivirus!]
If you’ve been running Microsoft’s Antivirus, you may keep using it for the time being as MS promised extra year of MS AV before it goes belly up. But if I were you I would step over now to commercial AV software as those will be actively developed and updated. You’re no more a priority for MS so if you get hit by rampant malware, MS will not be running to provide you with a patch.
- Set your DNS to OpenDNSThere are free online DNS Filter services that protect you from going to malicioussites. Most of these malicious sites are known and recorded in these services and once you make a request to go to such sites, you’re blocked or warned. One of such services isOpenDNS service. Just open your Network adapter’s IP settings and set the DNS from automatic to manual as follows:
I would have put a last point in there to run a local proxy server to monitor what is going in and out of your network, but then some of you guys will glaze over, so I’ll leave it as is for now. Heed the warning move over to a modern OS as soon as you can. You’re not wearing the same cloths you wore 13 years ago, while should your OS also be so old. XP was created when Internet was just a playground for geeks and academia, now it is a veritable Mafia warzone, you don’t go to war unarmed. So be warned!
If you have any further advice you want to share with the community, please add in the comment below, I’ll add to the list.
Updates: These suggestions came in from our readers
- STOP USING IE (Internet Explorer)!
IE is Microsoft’s browser as you know, and it is the main target of Hackers due to its deep integration into the OS. Since MS is no more supporting the OS, IE is now walking around with a big target on it’s back. Please install 3rd party browsers like FireFox or Chrome (sic!)