After the last day of official updates you will be able to continue using Windows XP securely, but you will have to change the way you use it.
You can continue receiving updates for a few more years by changing your XP to show as an embedded EPOS version.
32 and 64 bit Windows require different methods to patch. You can find the info in the forum linked here
WARNING: This will only keep some Microsoft software updated.
If you want a full security review of the software on your PC, use “Secunia Personal Software Inspector“
Firefox and Chromium browsers still install on XP.
Many Anti-Virus programs still install and protect XP
First, you may want to collect all the current fixes and updates available from the site, with the handy little tool “Autopatcher” from www.autopatcher.net
Download the update fetcher tool from the first thread “THE Autopatcher Download”
Unpack the zip (very small) to a new folder with a sensible name. In this folder you should now see a file called “Apup.exe”
This tool fetches the framework (any new Apup) and all available Microsoft updates and extras, including XP Powertoys.
Once Apup has downloaded everything you want and then closed, you should now see in the same folder a file called “Autopatcher.exe”
This tool is the installer framework, and you can now choose what you want to install.
If it can see that you already have an update, it will be coloured blue and will not pre-select.
All important updates that you are missing will be already selected.
You can also download all the extra recommended Microsoft files including the last DirectX 9 update and Windows Defender . Autopatcher also has various registry tweaks you can use to tighten security more.
Once you have the complete collection (it may fit on a CD) you will be able to re-install XP at any time in the future, and update with all the fixes you need.
It also works as an updater for MS Office and will fetch the rather large .Net installers, as well as the small Visual C installers, so can save a lot of time and bandwidth.
I generally advise XP owners install Defender and disable the realtime scanner after updating. It is a handy backup Anti-malware program that you can re-enable if you need, and still update.
This does not replace a good Antivirus but can be a handy “last-resort”.
The main change you will have to make is not running the computer as an “Administrator”.
You will have to create a dedicated admin profile, and downgrade any user profiles to a “Limited” account.
When you need to install any software, or do anything that requires Admin privilege, you can right-click on the icon and “Run-as”. You then choose the admin account from the window that opens.
XP Pro users will have been asked to provide a password for the built-in Admin account when Windows was first installed.
Test your current XP for vulnerabilities
Test your browser
Firefox is your safest option
Opera 12 is still secure
IE 8 is not safe to use
Some extra privacy and security protection for web browsers.
For more enhanced protection of Windows, Microsoft have the “Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET)
It is also possible to patch XP to use DirectX10
Transform XP into a newer looking OS