How to keep XP SP2 safe, for now

Microsoft has stopped releasing security patches for XP users running Service Pack 2. But there are some steps you can take to improve security until you’re ready to upgrade.

As we reported earlier, patches for SP2 official end on July 13. And despite the service pack’s age, 77% of businesses are running it on least 10% of their PCs.

Updates to SP3 can be had for free, but it can still be a significant hassle for companies running a lot of Sp2 machines. Here are some things those businesses can do to increase security before they upgrade, according to a recent article in ComputerWorld:

  1. Switch browsers — Microsoft will stop all updates for SP2 users — including those for all versions of Internet Explorer. But third-party browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome and Opera will continue to get updates.
  2. Patch third-party programs — According to security experts, OS security is less of a concern theses — more hackers are targeting third-party software. Take, for example, the number of recent attacks on Adobe’s Acrobat and Flash.
  3. Read security bulletins anyway — Even though SP2 won’t get patches, the security issues announced by Microsoft may still apply to older versions of XP — and some will include workarounds for users that don’t involve installing a patch.

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