When it was launched back in 2001, Microsoft Windows XP was one of the first operating systems to be widely adopted by the public. Since then, Microsoft has repeatedly issued updates and security additions known as ‘patches’ to sustain the platform and keep it safe from attack. On average, around one hundred of these patches are released each year. As of April 2014, though, Windows will no longer be releasing these updates and discontinuing its technical support for the operating system. With the severe importance of security updates on your computer, Microsoft is recommending users of Windows XP upgrade to their newer Windows 8.1 system.
At its launch over a decade ago, the technical and internet-specific standards of development and security were somewhat different. This is why Microsoft has been continually working on updating its systems to help combat any security threats or weaknesses. Without security updates, Windows XP will develop being to develop serious deficiencies to more advanced threats created by hackers. Cybercriminals are generally looking to exploit openings in a system that will give them the ability to insert malicious software commonly known as malware, viruses, worms or trojans. On access, the various kinds of malware can be remotely operated, enabling hackers and their teams to access personal information which could lead to fraud and theft, or even to use another person’s computer to commit crimes. Estimates suggest that there are around a quarter of a million computer viruses being created and entering circulation daily. With Windows XP no longer being protected from these, the end of security support poses a severe threat to the estimated 400 million computers still running Windows XP.