What would happen if I just continued using Windows XP? Vince, you will very likely end up looking like this.
or maybe like this...
or perhaps like this.
But odds are, you won’t be a happy camper for very long if you plan to keep on using XP online in any way, shape or form. Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. Now XP isn’t going to suddenly stop working, but without official Microsoft support, there will be no new security updates or bug fixes for Windows XP systems.
Third-party security software will continue to defend against known bugs, but without Microsoft support, they will not guarantee protection against new threats. Symantec, the company behind Norton Security said, “After the official End of Support date from Microsoft goes into affect, Symantec Support may not be able to provide full threat resolution on XP systems due to a lack of Microsoft security patches. It has always been Symantec’s stance that proper network and workstation security begins at having the most recent security patches from the OS Vendor. Depending on the nature of the threats involved, Windows XP may be susceptible to viruses and risks that more recent iterations of Windows is immune to.”
McAfee made a similar statement. “If a McAfee product requires Microsoft to provide a fix and Microsoft does not provide the fix, then McAfee cannot support the product any longer.”
Without current security support, XP systems will be prime targets for people with malicious intent. They will be looking for ways to get into your system and steal your data. More so that usual. Between July 2012 and July 2013, Windows XP was an affected product in 45 Microsoft security updates. Without official support from Microsoft, those issues will not be addressed. With XP being completely vulnerable, you can expect to see a lot more threats than that in a year after April 2014.
It’s a little like leaving your car unlocked with the keys in it or choosing to leave your doors unlocked at night. But you aren’t leaving your doors unlocked out in the country with nobody around for miles. You are leaving the doors to your house unlocked when there are millions of people who want to break into it and who already know that you don’t lock your doors. Maybe no one will try the door, but is that something you really want to count on?