Small businesses warned about XP security dangers

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A COMPUTER firm is warning small businesses about the risks of operating Windows XP after April 8, when Microsoft ends security updates.

One partner at Novatech, in Portchester, has described the end of these patches and security updates for computers as ‘like simultaneously switching off your car’s ABS, airbags, lights and removing the seat belts’.

Tuesday, April 8 is the last day of updates. Tim LeRoy, of Novatech, says small businesses should be aware of the changes because company owners will be liable for any lost data or viruses that affect their business.

He said: ‘We’re all familiar with the delay when Windows is installing updates, one of 25 messages when we start up a PC, but probably didn’t consider that those automatic updates were ensuring that your PC was secure against cyber attacks.

‘If you’ve ever been a victim of a serious attack you’ll know that at best it’s incredibly irritating and disruptive, but at worst it can be a terrible personal violation, cripple all of your finances and delete some of your most precious digital possessions.

‘The cynics say that Microsoft always makes a big noise about upgrading when they have a new version of Windows to sell but this time the implications are far more grave than simply not being on the latest and best system.

‘Novatech’s IT director is not the type for hype and exaggeration, but last week he told us that it would be weeks rather than months before we see the first wave of serious attacks on PCs running XP.’

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