I know. You don’t want to hear it again. Windows XP is dead. It died 13 months ago. You can’t stop. You need to give up that old slow XP machine, but you can’t. You can’t really imagine it because you have everything dialing just the way you like it or at least you know how everything works. But YOU Really need a plan to move forward. Do you have the disks to install your programs on a new pc? Will your software even run on a new computer? What version of windows can you move to? Vista dies in 2017 and Windows 7 in 2020. You have heard horror stories about Windows 8 ( but it’s not bad) and Window 10 is coming this summer. You have a plan don’t you? You deserve a new computer with a better protected operating system.
Windows 7 is the most like XP but you are almost out of time. The supply of Windows 7 systems is dwindling. I suspect they will not be available much longer, so don’t dally if you want Windows 7. FYI: Windows Home versions cannot connect to a windows active directory domains. If you are buying a pc to connect to your work network, you probably need a Windows Professional pc.
If you are willing to try Windows 8, you will find a new START screen with Tiles. There is no menu button. Most system controls are located in different places. Bounce your mouse pointer off the lower right corner to change, adjust volume brightness and oher PC settings. Control panels are hidden behind the lower left corner of the screen. I use Windows 7 and Windows 8 Pro everyday. I prefer Windows 8 but my Windows 7 machine had a lot of software I don’t wish to purchase again.
Small businesses and home users are not usually aware of Virtual Machines. In a nutshell, a virtual machine can run a copy of your XP system on the new Windows Machine in addition to what ever you run on the new operating system. Windows Pro 7 has an optional download. Oracle acquired Sun’s Virtual Machine & you can try for free. There are also several commercial VM products that have tech support like VMware.
If you need help finding a path forward, consult with a professional. It will save you money in the end because you won’t purchase computers, parts or software that won’t work for you. I want my customers to have what they need.
Scotts Valley Computer Repair
Do you create STRONG PASSWORDS and CHANGE THEM REGULARLY?
Do you have separate account names and passwords for each site you login to or do reuse your email name & password on multiple sites? Is your default password 111111 or do you create strong passwords? These are popular passwords in several break ins. Many sites have had data security breaches exposing the passwords they were trusted with. Yahoo, Linked In, Zappos, Dropbox and several other sites were attacked recently. A breach from years ago may come back to bite people if the company never disclosed it happened. It it dangerous to use the same password on more than one site.
Did you hear about the reporter for Wired Magazine, Matt Honan, who had is Apple, Twitter and Gmail accounts hacked because someone got his passwords? With our digital life secured by the passwords we choose, it becomes more important to take another look at our passwords.
Create Strong Passwords: It is still your best defense
Creating strong password is still your best defense against hacking. Hacker build computer with multiple video card and can process thousands of tries against a stolen password database. All the words on Wikipedia, all English and famous literature words are the first items tested. Changing an i to 1 and o to 0 doesn’t strengthen your password. Create Strong passwords that are longer and include mixed case, numbers and special characters like – . * _ $ if allowed. Local Slang are stronger passwords until they become widely adopted. Some people use a word and increment the number used in the password. Try a bit harder and you will be more secure. Strong passwords can still be broken but these tips will make them take longer to crack.
Do you share your passwords with others?
Does your roommate know your login password for Netflix? Do your children use your iTunes password? Do others use your computer login instead of adding another user account for them? Do you lock your screen when your computer is inactive and require a password to re-open your account? Do you trust them to not buy stuff with your iTunes credentials or Amazon account?
Security Question Security
Every online account comes with security questions that allow the account passwords to be reset. Would it be easy for a determined attacker or enemy to guess the answers to the security questions you set up to confirm your identity? Could the information be found on your blog, website or facebook page? Hopefully your not using your mothers maiden name or other biographical facts that might be found in a quick search of public records. The sites often have a stock list of challenge questions you can use. The better challenge questions are the one you create yourself as long as you remember the answers.
Computer Security In General
Do you have an anti-virus and an anti-malware program? Do you install the updates when they become available? Do you install Microsoft’s monthly updates, released the second Tuesday of every month? Do you install the new versions of Firefox or Chrome when they are released? Do you update Oracle/ Sun’s Java when prompted? How about Adobe Acrobat Reader, Flash and Shockwave? These products form the base of the system and your internet experience. Failure to update any or all will make your system more vulnerable to attack.