By many people’s standards, myself included, Windows XP is now a retro operating system. Released by Microsoft in 2001, it is most certainly obsolete. However, many users have yet to upgrade their old workstations. As the old saying goes, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. There are many reasons why upgrading could be a potential nightmare for the average user. Software incompatibilities, outdated device drivers, and other similar dilemmas can eventually be overcome. However, coupled with hardware that is too old for Windows Vista and its successor, it would not be a bad decision to stick with Windows XP. The only concern is security, as Microsoft has stated that they will no longer be providing security updates for their Windows XP operating system.
So, what can you do? If at all possible, the safest route is to disconnect your XP machine from the Internet. If you truly need Internet access, do not use Internet Explorer. The version of Internet Explorer that Windows XP supports is bound to have several undiscovered security flaws. To be on the safe side, use a third-party web browser like Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. The latest versions of these alternatives still work on XP and they are continually being patched and updated.
As for antivirus and antimaleware, my choice for faster machines would be the free version of AVG, in combination with a regular Malewarebytes scan. However, for a machine that is approximately a decade old, AVG will slow down your computer to the point of near uselessness. A valid alternative for older hardware would be the free version of AVAST.
These are just my opinions on the matter. feel free to use or dismiss any of my guidelines. Just know that, without adequate precautions, running a Windows XP computer on the Internet is ill-advised.