If you are a Microsoft user, there is an important date looming - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

If you are a Microsoft user, there is an important date looming

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

April 8, 2014 is fast approaching and that is a very important date in the computer world.

It is when Microsoft will retire its XP operating system. It won't stop working on 4/9/14. It means that Microsoft and many of the vendors that make software for your computer will no longer make new software for you.

You want to always keep your operating system, browsers, and software up to date to have your best chance at fighting off cybecriminals. When XP retires on 4/8/14, you no longer have that option.

Cyber expert Theresa Payton is worried that some people are holding out to save money or they think Microsoft will extend the deadline. She doesn't think you should take that chance given that they retired 95, 98, and Me. Her advice follows:

WHAT DOES "RETIRE XP" MEAN?

1. XP was built in 2001: think about the original program, it was built before the current cybercriminal techniques were created - it has had to respond and react to today's internet realities.

2. End of life: when Microsoft says XP has reached it's end of life, it means Microsoft will not release any new bug fixes or security updates for XP. They extended the end of life before, it looks like you should not count on that again. For some business software, Microsoft has been discussing a paid subscription for limited updates.

3. Other Microsoft Products: They already have an end of life date planned for Vista for 4/11/17 and Windows 7 will reach it's retirement party on 1/14/2020.

4. Options to Consider: You could upgrade to Windows 7 which looks and feels similar or you can make the jump to Windows 8.1 - Warning - there is a steep learning curve making the switch from XP over to Windows 8.1

Web Resources:

Microsoft's website explains the retirement of XP & a discount for moving now to a newer version of Windows.  For more information, click here.

Word Of the Week: CYBERCITY

Cybercity is a software platform used by cybersecurity professionals to simulate a cyber attack in the real world. It is a miniaturized city with people at work and at home, and cybercriminals could attack anywhere -- electrical power, water, transit, hospital, bank, retail, and or even homes.

Want to see the Cybercity? Click here

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