Can I still get Windows XP Updates?

John from Bucks County, PA

Episode 1459 (38:06)

Windows XP

John has an old PC that runs XP and he's going to install Debian Linux on it. He wants to keep XP on it to run dual boot, though. Can he still get Service Pack 3 to get it up to date? Leo says that Microsoft has killed XP development, so he can't really get ahold of it except through a third party archival service. He'll have to decide if that's legit. If he installs Linux first, it may prevent installing Windows XP in the process.

Another option would be to install VirtualBox and run XP virtually. He can even avoid XP and just install WINE and run whatever XP apps he needs. But if he installs Windows XP, he should remember that he's going to be using a computer that has a security issue. So whenever he's running XP, he should keep these protective steps in mind:

1. Stop using XP as an administrator — use it as a limited user instead. Add an account as an administrator and then demote the existing account to limited user. This will stop over 90% of all the exploits out there.
2. Stop using Internet Explorer. Go with Google Chrome. It's free and far more secure.
3. Don't click on links in email.
4. Only get your software from original vendors.
5. Keep your antivirus software up to date.
6. Stop using Java.
7. Use a password vault like LastPass.
8. Turn on second-factor authentication.

Photo: "IE7 in Windows XP" by Poakpong via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.