This is an article written for the Microsoft Small Business blog. You can read the original here.
Even though Microsoft support ended for Windows XP on April 8, 2014, Mike Halsey, Windows expert, author, trainer, and Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP), is finding that too many small businesses have not updated their operating systems. “I’m afraid that people who are still running Windows XP are putting their ongoing productivity and business data at risk,” Halsey said.
Why risk the consequences?
Without Microsoft support, devices running Windows XP no longer receive automatic software updates, including security updates that help protect against harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. This can lead to the loss of customer databases, merchandise inventory, and email history, making it difficult for small companies to operate. “Worse yet, if personal customer information is stolen due to a security breach, you could be libel for substantial fines from government authorities,” Halsey said. “And these fines, in some cases, could be enough to close a small company down.”
Take the time to safeguard your data
If you haven’t updated your operating system yet, consider doing it as soon as possible. The process is fast and easy and doesn’t require significant downtime or risk the safety of your data. Read Halsey’s article, 5 steps to update to Windows 8.1 (http://smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com/en-us/voices/2928290) to get started today. The other option, according to Halsey, is to purchase a new system. “Once you’ve upgraded to Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 you’ll be fine,” he said. “That’s because operating system updates for these versions will continue for years to come.”