The passing of Windows XP

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Jeepster
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The passing of Windows XP

Postby Jeepster » Sun, Feb 02 2014, 10:57 AM

In case you've missed it, Windows XP will stop being supported come April 8th of this year. If you're doing your taxes on an XP machine, it looks like your filing date just moved up a week. Wonder who in Microsoft picked that date to end support?

I decided to update my desktop machine with a new one. Now the three main machines are on Windows 7 ... my IT person (me) is a little lame, so it's easier that way. Love how easy the networking is when all the computers have the same engine.

Now for the question ... we have a trickle down laptop that has been handed down several times and is now "owned" by our 6 year old grand daughter. She uses it for cartoon network and some games. It is a 2004 machine with XP. If that computer is hooked up to the internet via our router/modem, is it exposing the rest of the computers in the "network" to malware?

Cheers,
Tom

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goestoeleven
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Re: The passing of Windows XP

Postby goestoeleven » Sun, Feb 02 2014, 11:01 PM

I'm not a network security expert so . . . . all I have are questions.

Do you have a good firewall at your router, and is it turned on? Do you have the router admin password set to something secure? Is remote administration turned off on the router? Is the firewall turned on in XP? Are you sure the 6 yo only goes to a few (legit) web sites, and the laptop is not used for anything else? Is the antivirus and anti-malware software on the XP machine up to date?

As I said, I'm no expert on network security, but I'd guess the XP machine won't be much more risky than other machines, at least not right away. Unless the 6 yo does a bunch of downloading, there's probably not too much risk to watching videos on CN. Over time though, you may find that the antivirus and anti-malware software you are using on the machine is not getting updates (especially if it's from Microsoft), and that will start to open up more risk on that machine. And as the 6 yo gets older . . . your risks may increase. A friend of mine just put his sons on their own network so they would not infect his home network . . . . so YMMV (his sons are between 9 - 15 years old, so they are "exploring" more of the web and are much more likely to download games & other stuff).

Anybody else out there have a viewpoint on XP? You could always upgrade the machine to Vista :twisted: :jester:

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Mike
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Re: The passing of Windows XP

Postby Mike » Mon, Feb 03 2014, 07:45 AM

I'm not an expert either and it's been a while since I've used a Windows machine so I can't give you explicit instructions....
Make sure you're running a recent web browser. If Microsoft won't let you use a recent version of Internet Explorer switch to Chrome or Firefox. That'll be a big plus.

If you can turn off Java, do that. It's ok to keep Javascript running, they're two different things.
Keep Flash up-to-date, or even better, remove it if you don't need it.
Remove Adobe Acrobat, she won't need it and it's another vector for viruses.

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Re: The passing of Windows XP

Postby goestoeleven » Mon, Feb 03 2014, 12:06 PM

Mike wrote:I'm not an expert either and it's been a while since I've used a Windows machine so I can't give you explicit instructions....
Make sure you're running a recent web browser. If Microsoft won't let you use a recent version of Internet Explorer switch to Chrome or Firefox. That'll be a big plus.

If you can turn off Java, do that. It's ok to keep Javascript running, they're two different things.
Keep Flash up-to-date, or even better, remove it if you don't need it.
Remove Adobe Acrobat, she won't need it and it's another vector for viruses.


Agreed with all of that. My father's PC was having problems, and removing Flash solved the issues. Unfortunately, you might need Flash for some of the stuff your granddaughter wants to do on the computer.

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Re: The passing of Windows XP

Postby goestoeleven » Wed, Feb 05 2014, 10:16 PM

A couple articles I ran across tonight . . . . the links are not on a site I frequent, but they were linked from a site I read relatively often so here you go . . .

XP security and malware updates extended

and

XP usage market share increasing!

Pretty funny that they screwed up Windows 8 so badly that the 10 year old XP is nowhere close to extinction . . . .

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Re: The passing of Windows XP

Postby Jeepster » Tue, Feb 11 2014, 01:42 PM

Thanks for the info guys.

As part of the trickle down process in our family, my grand son received his mother's semi-old laptop. He plays Minecraft hour after hour. None of us really want him doing it on our computer 'cuz he's too trusting an individual. We usually have to dump a number of junk programs every few days off the computer he's using. It's powered with Windows 7, and somehow, automatically hooked up to my internal network of Windows 7 machines. OPPS ... NOT GOOD ... that means/meant he had access to ALL the files on our three main computers.

The fact that he could so easily dive into our computers got me thinking about installing a second router with a second network for guests. When I investigated the specs on my dLink 655 router, I found that it had a "guest" setting. The 655 allowed me to set up a second network on it, for guests, that can be enabled to be a totally separate network. In fact, it even has a different network name with a different password. Thought about calling it PoliceSurveillanceVan, but that name is already taken in our neighborhood.

As to Windows XP; now we can simply use a wait and watch process. The laptop that it's on is not a good candidate for upgrading.

Cheers,
Tom

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Re: The passing of Windows XP

Postby TMadz » Tue, Feb 11 2014, 03:10 PM

Jeepster wrote:The fact that he could so easily dive into our computers got me thinking about installing a second router with a second network for guests. When I investigated the specs on my dLink 655 router, I found that it had a "guest" setting. The 655 allowed me to set up a second network on it, for guests, that can be enabled to be a totally separate network. In fact, it even has a different network name with a different password. Thought about calling it PoliceSurveillanceVan, but that name is already taken in our neighborhood.


We did something similar for the kids computer in the den. I was able to isolate it using the second band on the router. At least that's what my techie friend told me would work. We named it "We_will_hack_you". I figured it will keep some people away. It does require them to enter a password every time they logon to the network, but that's because we time limit their access.
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Re: The passing of Windows XP

Postby goestoeleven » Tue, Feb 11 2014, 08:25 PM

Unfortunately, my current router doesn't support multiple bands / guest networks, or I'd be doing exactly what you guys are doing.

And . . . one of the reasons I can't get David to go kite flying with me is . . . Minecraft.

It also has a negative impact on his spelling tests . . . which makes me even more unhappy . . .

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Re: The passing of Windows XP

Postby Jeepster » Tue, Feb 11 2014, 08:37 PM

NewEgg ... $29.99 re-certified or $69.99 brand new. However, there are some newer dual band routers on the market that I would replace it with if purchasing today.

The rules at my son's house are good grades buy time on Minecraft ... works well with Hunter.

Cheers,
Tom

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Re: The passing of Windows XP

Postby goestoeleven » Tue, Feb 11 2014, 09:20 PM

Yeah, grades are (mostly) good. Sometimes not so good on an individual test due to "forgetting" to study or that there's a test coming . . . so then we have to engage in some corrective / preventive actions . . . my router does allow access rules by MAC address, so sometimes particular devices just can't access the internet during certain hours of the day.

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Re: The passing of Windows XP

Postby swannie » Wed, Feb 12 2014, 06:06 PM

Being a network/security guy by trade, my son is pretty much screwed when he gets old enough to have his own computer... :)

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Re: The passing of Windows XP

Postby TMadz » Wed, Feb 12 2014, 06:25 PM

Then comes the cell phones...

I just went to a charity fundraiser last weekend where a DARE cop spoke about what he has learned in middle schools. He also does youth crime investigations. He does anti-bullying/cyberbullying speeches on the side. Over 80% of kids have smart phones. These kids have the internet at their finger tips and you'd be surprised at some of the vicious behavior that goes on. The craziest part is that some of them don't even realize what they're doing is wrong and readily admit stuff to a cop. To kids, to teachers, to strangers. The parents (us included) are very slow to catch up. Kids text hundreds of times a day. They text more than they talk to each other. It's crazy and they don't know/care. I know the old adage about these kids will be in charge someday, but this is beyond long hair and rock 'n roll.

Mymobilewatchdog.com has become very important in the last week. I kid you not.
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Re: The passing of Windows XP

Postby goestoeleven » Wed, Feb 12 2014, 06:40 PM

swannie wrote:Being a network/security guy by trade, my son is pretty much screwed when he gets old enough to have his own computer... :)


OK, looks like we need a new thread . . . . . so . . . what should we be doing to lock stuff down? Scratch that - we'll talk about it some day when we're flying together. In the meantime, I need to get out and replace the cable modem . . . .

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Re: The passing of Windows XP

Postby swannie » Wed, Feb 12 2014, 07:59 PM

goestoeleven wrote:
swannie wrote:Being a network/security guy by trade, my son is pretty much screwed when he gets old enough to have his own computer... :)


OK, looks like we need a new thread . . . . . so . . . what should we be doing to lock stuff down? Scratch that - we'll talk about it some day when we're flying together. In the meantime, I need to get out and replace the cable modem . . . .


Lol, unfortunately I don't know of anything pre-built. Most of the stuff I would start out with would probably be more involved then someone who doesn't already do it for a living would want to pursue. If that makes sense. :)

That's said, TMadz makes a good point, I forgot about smartphones. It's easy to shut off wifi on the phone and then anything I do on the home network is irrelevant. ... You could probably force VPN on the smart phone and tunnel traffic back home where you have control over it again. Hmm....

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Re: The passing of Windows XP

Postby goestoeleven » Thu, Feb 13 2014, 06:58 AM

Well, what we've done so far is make our kids very aware that everything they do on the internet (whether from a PC or mobile device, tablet, etc.), everything will be out there forever. Our daughter uses her phone constantly, but she also knows she's on the "trust but verify" plan and that we can take her phone at any moment to see what's she's doing. We just don't do it very often - and I hope we can keep it that way. I know that Snapchat and other apps (theoretically) don't keep any history, but we've talked about how anyone can capture images from it a variety of ways without her knowledge, and we're trusting her to make good decisions. I believe that she's not going to do anything stupid (at least not yet), and she's not the type to participate in bullying. So maybe I'll be naive and optimistic about her phone usage . . . but overall she's a good kid.

Our son has no interest in a phone (yet), even though several of his friends have them already. I suspect my son (who's also a good kid) is a more likely vector for network virus/malware trouble - mostly because (at this age) he's more interested in downloading games & various add-on packs for games, plus is going to sites (luckily, mostly YouTube) to find out how to do things in the games. At this point, I'm mostly interested in limiting the duration of his daily PC usage and the content of the sites. I have parental controls on his laptop, and he's not an admin, so he has to ask me to sign in to install anything.

Oh yeah, and when my friend's son got his first iPod touch, my comment to him was . . . your son just figured out how to get around the parental controls you have on your kid's PC . . . and he now has an internet device he can use in the privacy of his room with the door closed . . . so I'm not completely naive.

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Re: The passing of Windows XP

Postby TMadz » Thu, Feb 13 2014, 03:50 PM

I know I hijacked this thread, but I think it's important. I'll be quick and leave it at that.

I know I sound like a sourpuss, but I remember clearly that I could be a little prick and that adolescents are immature brains in a changing/mature body, but now they have ultimate access with phones that we never dreamed of. Naivete is sometimes okay, but it's more we need to be proactive.

The officer told us about one particular story. Two girls were besties. [yes I said it] A boy entered the picture and came between them because they both liked the boy. One gloated over the other, retaliation, nasty social networking comments, blah, blah, blah. The victim changed schools. The offender was investigated, admitted everything, didn't think it was wrong, was suspended, convicted and became a registered offender. The offender? Student council president, honors student and prominent band member. Think all kids aren't ready for this stuff yet?

It's a scary new world out there and we need to catch up quick. Snapchat is just the tip of the iceberg and already old news.

PS never ever go on chat roulette or ask.fm
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Re: The passing of Windows XP

Postby goestoeleven » Thu, Feb 13 2014, 10:04 PM

Important, yes. Are there multiple correct answers, yes.

To quote Firefly - "you can't stop the signal, Mal." Kids today have access to stuff that would have been magical when I was fourteen. To make it forbidden just means they will really, really want it, and they will find a way to get it if they want it. All they have to do is go to someone else's house where the parental controls don't exist or there is no supervision.

I believe I can trust my daughter's judgment and maturity, and her self control. She's the one her friends go to to resolve conflicts and solve problems. They look at her as the voice of reason. I am going to err on the side of trust with her, and let her learn to be responsible. I think both my kids understand that actions have consequences, so think before you act. I hope I'm not coming across the wrong way - I feel lucky. I can't keep them protected forever, all I can do is try to teach them the right values and to be responsible for themselves, their actions and to others. I expect they will make mistakes and learn, optimistically before the errors are catastrophic. Of course I don't know the full story, but it sounds like the student council president never learned basic self control, and good judgment.

I really hope I'm not coming across the wrong way.

Ps, what is this chat roulette you are taking about? Oh my. I just put those two sites into my favorites. (I AM KIDDING)

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Re: The passing of Windows XP

Postby swannie » Fri, Feb 14 2014, 12:09 AM

Lol, the phrase "bestie" and a Firefly quote ... All on a kite message board. We may have just won the Internets!

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Re: The passing of Windows XP

Postby Jeff » Sun, Feb 16 2014, 12:58 AM

Shiny.


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