If you or anyone in your family still has a computer that uses Windows XP, the computer is about to become vulnerable to hackers and viruses.
Recent security breaches at Target and other retailers have all of us concerned about our safety when we shop and go online. But in the next few months, millions of Americans may become more vulnerable than ever to hackers because of what's about to happen with Windows XP.
Now, in the wake of the Target security breach and other recent cyber attacks, Microsoft has just announced it will continue to issue XP security updates for another year, until July 2015.
So it's a bit of a reprieve, if you are still on XP, but many security experts say it's not enough.
Doesn't That Stink?
From the "doesn't that stink" file comes the risk you take using Windows XP after April 2014.
Information Week says once an operating system is no longer supported, minor security updates are just a token measure, and may not be enough to protect you. A scammer or virus could still get in and take over your PC or steal your personal information.
Experts say to be safe, do not use XP for banking, taxes, or anything sensitive after this April.
The Bottom Line
If you are still using XP, see if your PC can handle an upgrade to Windows 7.
If your computer appears to be on its last legs, consider buying a new one soon, so you stay safe. While it may be costlier up front, in the long run, you don't waste your money.