Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP after April 8. If you insist upon continuing to use Windows XP after that date (a strategy that I don’t recommend), you should remove administrator privileges from most users. Read this December 10 report on the beneficial results of removing administrator rights.
The report highlights the following key findings:
- Of the 147 vulnerabilities published by Microsoft in 2013 with a Critical rating, 92% were concluded to be mitigated by removing administrator rights.
- 96% of Critical vulnerabilities affecting Windows operating systems could be mitigated by removing admin rights.
- 100% of all vulnerabilities affecting Internet Explorer could be mitigated by removing admin rights.
- 91% of vulnerabilities affecting Microsoft Office could be mitigated by removing admin rights.
- 100% of Critical Remote Code Execution vulnerabilities and 80% of Critical Information Disclosure vulnerabilities could be mitigated by removing admin rights.
- 60% of all Microsoft vulnerabilities published in 2013 could be mitigated by removing admin rights.
An easy way to strenghten Windows XP’s security is to first create a new user account with Administrator rights. Make sure that you can log into this account. Then edit the remaining users’ accounts so that they have Limited rights (not Administrator rights). Use the new Administrator account only when you must.
Disable Java in web browsers.
Go to Start / Control Panel / Java. Click the Security tab. On the Security properties sheet, uncheck the box labelled “Enable Java content in the browser”.
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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695