Replacing your Windows

Those looking through old Windows on their computers might consider replacement.

Besides a sigh of relief, the end of spring semester brings an opportunity to do some needed computer maintenance. Since school projects are submitted and students have some time to breathe, students can turn to cleaning their computer drives and reorganizing files that that have been randomly squirrelled away in folders and strewn across the desktop.

For some users of Windows, this spring cleaning will likely need to be more aggressive and include updating their Chrome Browser—if not their operating system.

In February, Google stopped supporting Chrome Browser version 53, a version that has been used by people running Windows XP.  Google will no longer provide support or patches for version 53. The latest version, Chrome 55, will run on Windows XP, but such an outdated operating system might be better replaced than just cleaned and updated.

Windows XP

Microsoft long ago discontinued support for Windows XP, yet many users continue to run the operating system because of the strong stability and because they fear the dread upgrade process. If your computer is fewer than seven years old, and it does not seem slow to you or freeze, you may want to consider upgrading to Windows 7 or 10.

Discontinued Support

The problem with both the discontinued Chrome 53 and Windows XP is security. The longer that the software exists, the longer hackers have access to it. The issuers of the software, Google and Microsoft, use updates to fix glitches and patch any known security issues that hackers may have tried to exploit. Now, both Windows XP and older Chrome users are at a huge security risk for data theft.

Keeping Windows XP

Some people continually put off that spring cleaning, and if you are one of those people and wish to keep XP, you should at least take some safety precautions. If you check Gmail, remember to never save password and uncheck the “Keep Me Signed In” and “Remember Me” boxes. Never open an email from an address that doesn’t look familiar. And, above all, run an antivirus program.

If you’re stymied by your operating system, or have some other concern, e-mail fsj@racc.edu and be sure to include technology in the subject.