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No more updates – Windows 98/Me

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Wednesday July 5, 2006 )

There’s reportedly around 70 million computers worldwide still running licensed copies of Windows 98 or Windows Millennium Edition (ME). That’s at least 70 million PC’s that are going to be without security updates from next week.

While Microsoft had originally planned to cease providing security updates in 2004, they extended support until July 10 to be exact. On July 11, Windows 98 and Me users are on their own.

If you haven’t upgraded to a newer version of Windows as yet, it’s probably a very good time to do so – or at the very least, ensure you check for updates by July 10 which should help keep your system secure for a while after that.

If you won’t be able to afford a more recent version of Windows for some time to come, you can help to keep your system safer by using a good firewall package, anti-virus software and a dedicated anti-spyware/malware application – and ensure you keep those updated.

Common sense practices should also be strictly observed such as being wary of email attachments, links in emails, and skedaddling away from suspicious sites. If your children use your computer or a computer on the same network as your business machine, be especially vigilant in monitoring their use.

Some freeware applications for helping to secure your system are:

Anti-virus – AVG AntiVirus
Firewall – SoftPerfect Personal Firewall
Anti-spyware/malware – Spybot Search & Destroy

Note: The Soft Perfect firewall hasn’t been updated for quite some time. In regards to firewalls generally, there are other freeware products around, but they are becoming increasingly hard to find as most firewall software vendors have discontinued support for pre-XP/2000 systems. If you have any other recommendations; please post them below.

Also note, most of the above are free for personal use, not for business – in those cases, the vendor encourages business users to purchase premium versions instead.

Further resources:

Pick up some anti-hacking tips
Learn more about spyware


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