Are you still using Windows XP?

You may have heard that Microsoft withdrew its support for Windows XP on the 8th April this year.
If you’re using XP then you need to be aware as you will need to take action, either now or in the near future.
Windows XP is the operating system that runs your computers. There are different operating systems such as Windows Vista, Windows 8, Office 365, etc., but this issue only applies to Windows XP. If you don’t have Windows XP then there is nothing to worry about.
Microsoft withdrawing support means that it will never be updated. You won’t notice anything immediately, but over time there will be security vulnerabilities that aren’t fixed and software will be created that doesn’t work on your computer. Software that normally operates fine may start to slow down or fail, websites will not operate the way they were designed to and you won’t be able to open documents sent to you.
In the short-term, companies that provide firewalls, anti-spam and other internet security arrangements are likely to continue to ensure that their updates still work on Windows XP, but eventually they too will stop.
So you do need to take action, but it doesn’t need to be this afternoon.
The action needed is to update your operating system, but that might be more complex than it sounds. The first decision will be whether your existing computer and servers can take a more up-to-date operating system. If they can’t, or won’t work well with it, then you will also need new hardware. You’ll need to do an audit of your equipment to identify which items may be affected.
Then you’ll need to do a full and thorough back-up of everything on your existing equipment before loading the new operating system and re-installing your software and files. But this may create other issues as existing software and documents may not be compatible with the newer operating system, so you’ll have to update them too.
As ever, the best advice is to talk to a reputable IT support company so that you can plan the upgrade, and when the best time to do it is.

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