It’s been all over the news. Windows XP is nearing its end-of-life. Support for the Windows XP operating system, which was released in 2002, will end on April 8, 2014. After that date, Microsoft will stop offering tech support and releasing security updates.
Andrew Clarke, IT Director at NEMT
Security updates patch vulnerabilities in a program or operating system that could be exploited by hackers in the form of malware, spyware and the like. Without these security updates, sensitive data could be stolen. This data could be anything from your personal banking information to sensitive patient information (PHI). Running Anti-virus and Anti-Malware software on Windows XP will not be sufficient protection since they also rely on the operating system to do their job.
After April 8, 2014, any computer running Windows XP will not be considered protected by HIPAA standards. Individuals performing work that involves PHI are required to use an up-to-date, modern operating system. That means that the operating system needs to be supported by the manufacturer and receive regular security updates. If your PC meets the system requirements for Windows 71 or Windows 82, you can purchase a copy of the operating system from a local retailer or Microsoft and upgrade your current PC. If your PC does not meet these requirements, you will need to obtain a PC that uses Windows 7 or Windows 8.
The Bright Side: If you’re running a computer that came with Windows XP, you are no doubt dealing with a computer that boots up slowly, runs sluggishly, and takes forever to shut down. As much as none of us likes change, a move to a newer computer running Windows 7 or Windows 8 will be like taking the weights from your ankles on a run or walk. You’ll be able to move more quickly and easily through your daily tasks, and (hopefully) you’ll wonder what took you so long to make the change.
1 System requirements for Windows 7: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/system-requirements
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
- Hard disk space: 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
- Graphics card: DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
2 System requirements for Windows 8: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/system-requirements
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
- Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
- Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
Additional information is available from Microsoft at: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/endofsupport.aspx