In less than a month Microsoft will stop providing support to Windows XP. If you’re planning to continue using the 13-year old operating system, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) advises you to not use Internet Explorer.
Attackers usually use browsers to plant malware on a computer. US-CERT which provides security awareness and tips to safeguard systems, suggests that people switch to a more secure web-browser. In a bulletin published on Monday, the team wrote, “users who choose to continue using Windows XP after the end of support may mitigate some risks by using a Web browser other than Internet Explorer".
"The Windows XP versions of some alternative browsers will continue to receive support temporarily. Users should consult the support pages of their chosen alternative browser for more details", the report continues.
With Windows XP's approaching deadline, much of its software, including, and especially, Internet Explorer versions 7 and 8 are also set to go out of support. However, Windows Vista and Windows 7 users will still be receiving updates for the aforementioned versions. With Internet Explorer derailed, Windows XP users can still opt for other popular browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Opera. All three web-browsers have promised this continuation. Chrome has confirmed that that it will be providing support to Windows XP until April 2015, and while Firefox hasn’t made the dates official yet, it can be expected that it will also support Windows XP users throughout this year.
"We listen to our users closely, and right now many of them are on XP and expect to stay on that platform. We have not announced any end of support for Firefox on XP at this time," said Chad Weiner, Director of Product Management, to Computer World. Opera also didn’t provide a specific date.
According to Net Application's latest monthly report, Internet Explorer 8 (the version most Windows XP users are going for) is still used by 37.3% of users, compared to other versions of Internet Explorer.