The news from Microsoft does not mean that today’s computers with the operating system XP will stop working, but remain at the mercy of hackers, as the manufacturer, Microsoft, stop issuing security updates and not give more support to XP. Microsoft said,”The infections will rise 66 percent from 8 April on Windows XP. “ Despite this announcement almost a third of PC users and 25 percent of companies still use this OS. And, Perhaps more serious, many ATMs and even governments are running different platforms on the same OS. The research resolves some of the most common questions,

How to know if your computer has Windows XP? On site “Am I running XP” you can see if you use XP or not. It will give you a message if your computer has windows XP like “You are running XP” and if not, it will say “You are NOT running XP” Even if you do not visit that site a popup appears on the screen. This depends on the configuration of your computer for Windows updates. Microsoft recommends you to buy a DVD of the latest version of Windows, 8.1.

If XP still works, why do I need to upgrade? For safety. Hackers know that Microsoft will no longer repair the security flaws so they have an extra incentive to get them. Moreover, if a fault is found in Windows 7 or 8 is very likely that there is a similar problem for XP. So when security patches for Windows 7 or 8 hackers go to XP fails to find it, knowing it is unprotected. If you buy a new printer or scanner it will not work with XP. Same for any new software, especially if faster processors and more memory than usual at the height of XP needed.

What are the options for updating? You can upgrade to Windows 7 or 8 buying a new DVD. But first you need to make a backup of the files and because the update will completely wipe the hard drive and start from scratch. Retail sales of Windows 7 are gone, although it is possible that you can find online. You may need to buy new software, because older versions may not work in Windows XP. Microsoft, for example, is also leaving support for Office 2003 as well.  Alternatively, install Linux, the open source operating system adored by free software advocates.  Before, it was considered only for programmers and experts, but their newer versions make it increasingly easy to use.

Even if the XP update is possible. It is safe to spend a few dollars on a new computer because many PC manufacturers, says: “Do not waste your money trying to upgrade your PC with Windows XP. If your computer is before 2006, you are lost. Install a new OS and run safe.

What to do? If you still want to use XP despite all warnings? First, make sure that the software you have installed has the latest version. This is done by going to the Microsoft website. Parallel, should have an antivirus other than Microsoft. This is because antivirus companies say they will continue to update Windows XP, but beware: it is unlikely that this is forever and fill the vacuum left by the end of support from Microsoft, experts warn about it. Stop using Internet Explorer and use another browser like Firefox or Chrome. Because Google will support your browsers with XP until April 2015, and Mozilla has not announced an end date of browser support. It’s a good idea to lock your computer with a profile that does not have administrative rights. That will make it harder for a hacker to install anything new, including malicious software.

Things to remember,

1. Get the last version.

2. Update your antivirus software.

3. Make sure your browser is up to date.

4. Be extra careful with email.

5. Secure Social networking

6. Be extra, extra careful with USB sticks, CDs, and DVDs.

7. For the ultimate in safety, disconnect from the Internet.