First, the bad news. If you are using Windows XP or Windows Vista, you need to upgrade as soon as possible for your own safety. Your computer can no longer run current antivirus software, nor does it receive security updates. Even longstanding programs like Google Chrome now consider WinXP and Vista obsolete. Below you’ll find resources on how to plan your upgrade.
As with any computer, the best defense for Windows users is prevention, including reliable backups and solid security software. Equally important, you also need to know how to recognize and avoid common Internet threats.
Windows Antivirus Programs
Good security starts with a quality antivirus program. You can use the freebies, but I strongly recommend that you invest in a commercial security suite. It’s money well spent.
- AVG (free)
- Sophos Home for Windows and Mac (free)
- Avast (free)
- Norton antivirus products for Windows (paid)
- McAfee antivirus products for Windows (paid)
- AVG Antivirus (paid)
- Kaspersky Antivirus (paid)
Upgrading From Windows XP and Windows Vista
- Windows lifecycle fact sheet (via Microsoft)
- Your Options – End Of Support Windows XP (via Microsoft)
- Upgrade To Windows 8.1 From Windows Vista Or Windows XP (via Microsoft)
- Windows 10 Upgrade FAQ (via Microsoft)
Tech Tips – Recommended Advice For Windows Users
- How To Create Strong Passwords (2016 Edition)
- What You Need To Know About Windows 10
- Ransomware: A Dangerous Threat To Your Computer
- How To Configure Security Settings For Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
- How To Back Up Your Computer For Windows And Mac
- How To Protect Your Web Browser
- How To Protect Your Privacy On Social Media Sites Like Facebook And Twitter