Thursday 54

Security Recipes – A.1 – Hardening Windows XP

Microsoft makes operating systems — for botnets, malware, and spam.
Especially Windows XP.

Nothing can make Windows XP adequately secure.
If you must use Windows, upgrade to Windows 7. It has better but still flawed security.

If you must use Windows XP, do not connect the computer to the internet.

If you connect Windows to the internet, you must update.

Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) has major vulnerabilities. You must update to SP3. www.update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/

You must not turn them off Windows updates.

Updating Windows XP to SP3 and doing updates will not make it secure.

If you don’t have better virus and malware protection, go get Microsoft Security Essentials and install it. It’s free.

Never use Windows XP, any version, for online banking or any other secure or critical operation. To do online banking or other critical operations you must use a virtual machine or dual boot.

Never use Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE). Never use Microsoft Outlook. Both have considerable vulnerabilities. Both will lead to your computer getting malware.
Use Google Chrome or Firefox for web browsing.
Use Google Mail, Thunderbird, Lightning, Evolution, or Sylpheed for email.

I recommend creating a new administrative user, then setting your regular working account to limited. Then use your regular account and not the administrator account. This will limit damage.
Go to the Start menu, then Control Panel, then User Accounts.

All support for Windows XP including security updates will end April 2014.
You must choose and transition to a new operating system before then.



  1. Nicely put. I’ve avoided switching to Apple or Ubuntu for petty reasons. They still apply (dammit).

    Comment by Eric Bagai — Thursday 54 @ pm

    • What reasons?

      Comment by zundel — Thursday 54 @ pm

  2. Sadly, the new IE 9 won’t run on XP.

    Comment by zundel — Tuesday 73 @ pm

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