As I meet with our law firm clients, I remind them that time is drawing near to replace any computers using the Windows XP operating system. A recent article stated that XP users are six times more likely to be hacked than those on Windows 7 and 8. That is an astonishing number considering XP is still being supported – and widely deployed. On April 8, 2014, support will cease. This means that Microsoft will no longer issue security patches (which keep the bad guys out). Hackers will have a much easier time targeting XP users. There also will be no more free or assisted phone or internet support. For those of you in the financial service and medical practice arenas, this presents a problem because of regulations in place by the SEC, FINRA and HIPPA. These regulations require you to use up-to-date software. Tony wrote a great tip back in April discussing options for XP users.
What can you do to protect yourself? Be proactive. For most, this means replacing older computers before the deadline. We are often asked if it makes sense to upgrade an existing computer to Windows 7 or Windows 8. In most instances, the more cost effective answer would be to replace the computer. Hardware is generally less expensive than having to hire someone to reformat your computer. With holiday sales just around the corner, now is the time to be looking for your replacement computer.
Having trouble deciding between Windows 7 and Windows 8? If you’re shopping at a retail store you may not have a choice – only Windows 8. However, if you want Windows 7 (which is most similar to Windows XP), shop at a more business-oriented store. Windows 8 looks quite different than Windows 7 or XP. However, Windows 8.1, which came out last month, gives people an option to boot right to the desktop (Win7 mode).
If you chose Windows 8, the first thing you will notice when turning on the computer is that the start button has been replaced by a start screen. Other differences that it offers are touch screen capability and the ability to access apps that can be downloaded from the Windows Store. For those who frequently use social networking, all contacts will be located in one place along with contacts for emails. They can be found in the new “People” app. Many of these changes are similar to what you experience while using a Tablet. Whichever version you choose, make the move now so that you do not run out of time.
With over 15 years’ experience in the legal arena as well as client management, Alisa brings her experience to Network 1’s team, clients and partners. She strives to be proactive in managing clients’ needs and expectations with an outcome of client satisfaction and retention.
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Network 1 Consulting is a 15-year-old, IT Support company in Atlanta, GA. We become – or augment – the IT department for professional services companies: law firms, medical practices and financial services firms. Our IT experts can fix computers – but what our clients really value are the industry-specific best practices we bring to their firms. This is especially important with technology, along with regulations and cyber threats, changing so rapidly. We take a proactive approach to helping our clients use technology to gain and keep their competitive advantage.