We all (hopefully) know that continuing to use Windows XP is a risky business.
The operating system stopped receiving security patches from Microsoft in April 2014, which means anyone still relying on the platform is at risk of being impacted by vulnerabilities that are being fixed in more modern versions of the operating system.
In other words, XP users are living in a state of perpetual zero-day.
But, perhaps you decided to persist with Windows XP, despite the pleas from Microsoft to give it up, and the advice of security professionals.
Maybe you decided to run a freebie anti-virus solution like Microsoft Security Essentials on your XP computers in an attempt to protect yourself from the uptick in vulnerability threats and malware attacks.
Well, now you have an additional problem.
Because Microsoft officially ends XP support for its Malicious Software Removal Tool and updates for Microsoft Security Essentials today.
The key part of the message is written in a tiny font at the bottom of that screenshot, so I’ve highlighted it up and increased the size of the text for you:
The Malicious Software Removal Tool and updates to Microsoft Security Essentials will continue to be provided for Windows XP through July 14, 2015.
As Heimdal Security reports you would be far from alone if you did stick with Windows XP. It is estimated that XP still has around 180 million users (approximately 12% of all Windows users out there).
My best recommendation to you is to stop using Windows XP entirely, especially if your XP computer is connected to the internet. Simply finding an alternative anti-virus to run on Windows XP can only be considered a stop-gap, as the updates will not continue indefinitely.
Instead upgrade to a more recent, properly-supported version of Windows or switch to an alternative operating system.
You’ve been gambling with your security for long enough. Make the change.