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Will Microsoft Security Essentials Protect XP?

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by | Filed Under: Security Help

In response to our article, “Which Antivirus is Best For XP?”, Tom states,

Microsoft Security Essentials still provides definition updates regularly. This product does a very good job for me.

Face it people, there are those of us who have older but “working just fine thank you” machines that can’t be upgraded and to put these perfectly good machines in a dumpster is criminal.

Hi Tom,

While your computer may seem to be working fine, and we do understand that it’s not easy or convenient at times to upgrade, you are still at risk when using Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows XP. Keep in mind, also, that if you do get infected or compromised, it may not be obvious! The most damaging infections work silently in the background, gathering personal data and information without your knowledge. I just want you to be aware of that fact, even though MSE may seem to be updating. Here is a statement directly from Microsoft’s own website:

“Will I still be protected if I use Microsoft Security Essentials?

No, you will not be protected. Microsoft Security Essentials is no longer available for download on Windows XP, for starters, but even if you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you still won’t be protected—even though you’ll continue to receive antimalware signature updates for a limited time. This is because Microsoft Security Essentials (or any other third-party antivirus software for that matter) will have limited effectiveness on PCs that do not have the latest security updates. What does this mean for you? That your PC running Windows XP will not be secure and will still be at risk for infection. ”

Here is the link to the website :

Basically, while the program may still update detection definitions, it will not patch MS security holes found in XP. So while it may work to catch a virus, you are at risk for re-infection because the hole will remain.

– Audra

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One Response to “Will Microsoft Security Essentials Protect XP?”

  1. K.Vee.Shanker. says:

    Hi Audra,

    Thanks for attending an important dilemma of Tom common among many of us who dislike replacing anything that works fine and meets all our needs(especially, at a cost and inconvenience). Yet I realize – that is a Life’s compulsion, and I have to accept.

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