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Do not use Internet Explorer
It is not advisable to keep running Microsoft's Windows XP operating system now that support has ended.
Today, Microsoft will release its last batch of security updates, patches, and fixes for Windows XP, and after this date, core vulnerabilities or security issues that could leave you open to cyberattack will not be investigated or fixed. You won't have a permenant blue wheel of death the moment support ends, but vulnerabilities stored up by cybercriminals for use after this date will not be fixed.
See also: Windows XP and the Future of the desktop
Tip one? Stop using Internet Explorer.
The most common version of IE used on XP systems is version 8, and considering that Internet Explorer is now up to version 11, you can see how old and obsolete the browser is. Not only this, but Internet Explorer 7 and 8 will also not be updated further, leaving your system vulnerable to malware that exploits this old program.
Both Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome browsers will continue support for Windows XP after expiration, and so use one of these browsers instead of Internet Explorer if you are still running XP. This will at least give you a little more time, but be aware that Chrome on XP will only be supported for one more year, and it is not known how long Firefox will offer support.
In addition, don't forget to change your browser from the IE default.
Keep third-party software up to date
The fewer software packages you have installed on your computer, the fewer routes that hackers can take to infiltrate your system.
Any software you can't live without, especially if used in tandem with an Internet connection, must be kept fully updated at all times. Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat PDF reader, and Java are of particular concern, as they are often targets for hackers -- and while modern versions check for updates automatically, older versions may skip checks altogether.
If you don't need the Java browser plugin, disable it, and you should do the same for Adobe Flash. The fewer outlets you provide for vulnerabilities to be exploited the better. While these are all stop-gap solutions instead of the ultimate protection — killing your Windows XP system altogether — it may keep your system a little safer.