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Old 07-27-2014, 10:59 AM   #1
MinnieLynnie
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Windows XP

I know that MS has either stopped, or will soon stop, all support for Windows XP. That leads me to the following question:

My best friend's small business has a few computers, but one computer has only one thing on it, which is bookkeeping software. That computer's OS is Windows XP. I know very little about computers, but the fact that Windows XP will be unsupported by MS made me think about the issue of risk, especially since all of her financial info is kept on the very computer that is no longer supported.

So I asked her if she'd upgraded that computer to a new version of Windows, and she said she's not going to do that. She said she's not worried about the fact that XP is not supported, because the computer is backed-up using Carbonite.

I know there are some tech experts here, so I'll ask here - - I'm curious: If the unsupported OS fails, will Carbonite be enough to recover her financials?
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Old 07-27-2014, 11:43 AM   #2
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I'd be less worried about backups than about keeping all the financial info on a computer with an OS that will no longer receive patches as new security vulnerabilities are found and exploited. Along with not getting security updates to the OS itself, the most recent version of Internet Explorer available for XP is also several editions out-of-date, creating another layer of security holes. Unless they're using that machine completely offline, those security issues are a much more immediate problems than the what-if of a system failure.
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Old 07-27-2014, 12:40 PM   #3
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Support for Windows XP has ended. As of April 2014.
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Old 07-27-2014, 12:46 PM   #4
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They won't lose data if they are getting backed up but that computer may be vulnerable to getting hacked. The fact that she only considered the backup aspect means she does not understand the problem.

If she can live with the idea for that information possibly getting stolen and used by someone else then she's fine. But if she's not she needs to get the latest version of windows (or at least windows 7) and some current firewall/anti-virus software.
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Old 07-27-2014, 01:23 PM   #5
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All our computers run XP. The biggest issue I found is that one needs MS Office and they no longer sell versions that are compatible with XP.
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Old 07-27-2014, 02:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwdavis2 View Post
They won't lose data if they are getting backed up but that computer may be vulnerable to getting hacked. The fact that she only considered the backup aspect means she does not understand the problem.

If she can live with the idea for that information possibly getting stolen and used by someone else then she's fine. But if she's not she needs to get the latest version of windows (or at least windows 7) and some current firewall/anti-virus software.
Or, since it sounds like this machine is used only for a very limited number of applications, simply maintain it offline for now. If you aren't connected to anything there's no chance of getting hacked. We know a handful of less than tech savvy small business owners who disconnected their work PC rather than learning a new version of Windows, IE, and their accounting and scheduling software programs. Since these are home-based businesses it is no real inconvenience to use the home/family PC rather than the work computer when access to the Internet is required.
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Old 07-27-2014, 02:14 PM   #7
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You would be well advised just to upgrade to Windows 7.

Personally, I wouldn't touch Windows 8 with a barge pole.
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Old 07-27-2014, 02:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
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You would be well advised just to upgrade to Windows 7.

Personally, I wouldn't touch Windows 8 with a barge pole.
I hate it, too!

Thanks for all the answers!
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Old 07-27-2014, 03:14 PM   #9
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My son works in computer IT and his company has a client still using Windows 3.1. But the network isn't on the internet. Every year they make the "you really need to upgrade" pitch and the client points out that that those upgrades would do nothing to improve what he needs the software to do, and would only cost him thousands of dollars.

So, I guess it depends on the use. My last employer was sold and the new owner took out the Windows commercial server and put in one that was DOS. Granted, that was 8 years ago, but sometimes newer isn't better.
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Old 07-27-2014, 03:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvguy View Post
My son works in computer IT and his company has a client still using Windows 3.1. But the network isn't on the internet. Every year they make the "you really need to upgrade" pitch and the client points out that that those upgrades would do nothing to improve what he needs the software to do, and would only cost him thousands of dollars.

So, I guess it depends on the use. My last employer was sold and the new owner took out the Windows commercial server and put in one that was DOS. Granted, that was 8 years ago, but sometimes newer isn't better.
Indeed. I know a very successful company that still runs DOS. My company - an IT training company - still runs XP and whilst we're planning to upgrade to 7, it's not a point of contention.
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:04 PM   #11
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Is that computer online (is it used for internet browsing or email)? If it's online, not upgrading could lead to being hacked. If it's off line (no connection to the internet), then there should be no issue with not upgrading.
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