Are you still a Windows XP user?

If you’re still an old Windows XP user or even Vista user, you’re probably worried knowing that after long years of support Microsoft has now ended its support for the world’s second most popular operating system way back on 8th April 2014.

Microsoft warns you that if you continue to use its OS first introduced before the iPhone even existed “your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.” And if that isn’t enough to encourage you to upgrade or get a computer, maybe the fact that “you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP” will.

But given the millions of PCs running the OS and the scarce amount of time and resources many people have, some people will certainly be still be XP users or Vista well after its “expiration date.” If you’re going to be one of these daredevils, here are some suggestions that might help …

1)      Comparitech has produced a guide where it explains the options depending on which Windows version currently being run for upgrading.
2)      If you continue with XP then install an alternative browser — not Internet Explorer.
3)      Make sure Microsoft Office is fully patched if it is installed. Note, some older versions of Office will run things such as Flash by default if embedded in documents. If using an older version of Office, tighten up the security options.
4)      Review the third-party software you have installed and uninstall anything that isn’t needed.
5)      For the third-party software that you keep – consider disabling or uninstalling the browser plugins. Or at least set the browser to “always ask” what to do about things such as PDF files.
6)      Have an up-to-date security product with antivirus and firewall installed.
7)      Keep your XP computer connected to a NAT router, which will act as a hardware firewall. (Practically speaking, this means you shouldn’t be roaming around outside of your home with an XP computer.)

Living in the past may not be easy. But if it’s your only option, you should try to stay as safe as possible.

“Folks that continue to use XP at home can do so with some reasonable amount of safety, but they absolutely need to review their Internet and computing habits as April draws near.”

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Generation 1992? What about the rest of us ..

European Commission reaches out to young people with a creativity competition on the single market

I read with interest that the European Commission is targeting people born in the year 1992, who will be 20 this year.  It is 20 years ago that the single market of free movement of people, goods, services and capital between the 27 counties began. They are holding a competition for an original essay, video, photograph, cartoon or smart phone application in one of four categories: education and citizenship; jobs and entrepreneurship; culture and leisure and consumers and environment.

Sunset in the Turkish Islands

Michel Barnier, Commissioner for internal market and services, said: “In 1992, we had great hopes for the single market. Looking back, it has indeed helped citizens work anywhere they want, made trade easier and brought more jobs. However, 20 years on there is a feeling that progress towards a true single market has stalled. We need to relaunch the single market in order to give young adults born in 1992 renewed hope and greater opportunities. And we need this future generation to contribute to the development of our internal market policies for the next 20 years.”

Entries for the competition are to be submitted online and the most outstanding ones will be posted on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Prizes – including tablets, smartphones, cameras, MP3 players and travel passes – will be awarded on an ongoing basis from April to September. In addition, 4-week internships in the European Institutions as well as in international companies will be offered to winners for each category of the competition. Twenty winners will be invited to take part in the Single Market Week in October, where they will present their winning entries at the award ceremony on 15 October.

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What about us oldies?  We have seen massive changes during the last twenty years, and we are trying to keep up.  If you’re running a business and need help get in touch …

If you want to stimulate new business, get better ratings with search engines, improve your search engine optimisation skills,  then make contact – drop me a line  – A little help can go a long way!