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win xp blissAs blogged previously XP support is ending on 14 March 2014. While this is not cause for immediate concern there will come a day when computer manufacturers no longer support XP and it will be impossible to build a new XP machine. Some of you will bite the bullet and move on to the latest version of windows however there will be a significant number of users who will find this daunting. You may have a complicated XP installation which you use for retail sales and cannot afford any down time.

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win xpThe official line from Microsoft is Support for Windows XP is ending on April 8, 2014. If you’re running this version after support ends, you won’t get security updates for Windows.  See http://windows.microsoft.com/en-AU/windows/end-support-help for more.

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windows securityI mentioned in a previous blog , see Are MAC Computers more secure, some of the technologies used in the Windows Operating system to make it secure. I am going to talk about this as simply as I can as they will become a recurring them in discussing how secure a computer is.

In particular we mentioned the following and I am just going to add a description of what they do.

Data Execution Prevention (DEP)

Prevents code being run from areas in memory which should only have data eg the heap, stack or data sections of memory.

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virus malwareI am often asked why are computer viruses created and there is an easy answer Money.

In fact the creation of Viruses to affect any PC be they MAC ,Windows or Linux has never been easier as it is possible for anyone to purchase an exploit kit online.

An exploit kit is software placed on a malicous website which ,when the website is accessed by your browser, can cause your browser or pdf reader to download malicious software on to your PC or tablet. The software delivered onto your PC could be Ransomware (UKash is an example which locks your PC unitl some money is paid) or fake anti-virus software. These kits are readily availble for a price.

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mac vs winWith the gap between the number of Windows and MAC PC’s narrowing, see Gap Between PC and Mac Sales Narrowing, I am being being asked the question which is better a MAC or a Windows PC.

Years ago I would have said a Windows PC mainly because Macs were completely proprietary either with Motorola or IBM processors and which made them more complicated to work on. Now MAC machines run a unix variant with Intel hardware which allows the running of Windows natively on the latest MAC PC’s and has made them much more usable, eg it’s much easier to port popular software to that system.

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