What will happen if I keep using XP? We’ll find out…

One month running XP. No security patches. Will disaster strike?

April 8 2014 is what some people know as the XPocalypse. Some experts say it could be a matter of hours before viruses appear, taking advantage of previously unknown Windows XP vulnerabilities, security “black holes” that you can take no precautions against. Even Microsoft says the risk will be constant, regardless of whether or not you’ve got an up-to-date antivirus.

I’ve already shown you how to keep Windows XP safe until you can move to Windows 8, but I want to go even further. Since April 8th, I’ve been using a PC that runs Windows XP. It’s always connected to the internet, and for a month, I’m going to go about my daily business using the machine.

Why? I want to see if the end of XP really is the “XPocalypse” we’ve been warned about. If my advice is legit, the month will end without any surprises. If my PC gets infected with something, then we’ll know there’s a problem and I can check to see where I went wrong.  Basically, we want to know how safe XP really is now that support has ended.

A computer running XP

The XP test

While I’m doing this test, I’m going to follow the same advice I gave you. The machine I use will be configured as follows:

  • I’ll use a laptop with a clean install of XP SP3, with all patches.
  • I’ll use AVG as my antivirus, 2014’s best free antivirus, and I’ll use a firewall.
  • I’ll use the internet with Mozilla Firefox, with Java and Flash plugins activated and up-to-date.
  • I’ll use Windows just like a regular user, without Admin permissions.

I’ll use this PC for browsing the internet, trying new programs, and reading my mail. I’ll try not to do anything stupid, like download sketchy programs or browse suspicious websites. To keep things interesting, I’ll share a legal file via a torrent, play some online games, and try new programs directly on my PC.

When the month is up, I’ll let you know how it went. If the PC is clean, it means my advice was good. If not, I’ll tell you what happened, and make some changes to my original advice.

Stay tuned to see how it goes.

Follow me on Twitter: @remoquete

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