Since myself and others will probably be running XP for some time despite how end-of-service (April 8th) has already come and gone (my main reason for keeping it is Aesop here can and will run anything: 7, Vista, 8 - she's run them all - but she was made for and simply runs XP better) I figured I'd do a quick writeup on how to keep an XP computer safe and light on its feet and how to run the newer and more fancy Microsoft fonts on XP.
Best Practices For Installing and Using XP after April 8th End-of-Service Date
- Don't! Use it! At all! Ever! Again! (from The Book of Do As I Say Not As I Do, Chapter XP)
- Turn on Automatic Updates (users who install or use anything less than a fully updated copy of XP running SP3 Build 5512 Final will get all updates needed to bring their OSs current despite being past end-of-service date)
- Don't use anything less than Service Pack 3
- Turn on Windows Firewall
- Turn off possibly dangerous services
- Don't use anything less than Internet Explorer 8. Once SP3 is installed, IE6 or IE7 will take you to the IE8 download page so no worries. Install IE8, then go to the Menu Bar-->Tools and click on Tools, then on Windows Updates. IE will take you to Windows Update where you can install more updates you'll need
- While still running IE8, go to Tools-->Internet Options-->Advanced and turn off ActiveX, all scripting, meta refresh, cross-domain content, automatic downloads of anything, and turn on all certificate checks (especially after Heartbleed); under the Security tab set all Zones cookie handling (except for restricted sites, which are already set to high) to medium-high; turn off all third-party cookies
- Download Firefox, close Internet Explorer and don't open it again; install Firefox and set it as the default browser (it's worth mentioning that all three of you worldwide still using an AOL web browser are running whatever version of IE is currently installed on your computer every time you use it; older copies of AOL's browser, newer versions of it, and AOL Explorer itself are just IE disguised in an AOL hard-candy shell - same goes for Avant and Maxthon browsers, so you should stop using them, too)
- After Firefox is installed get Web of Trust for search engine safety and to avoid entering dodgy websites; for better password management use a secure password manager; I use LastPass
- Before logging into any website or email account, check for Heartbleed vulnerabilities both past and present; change passwords once affected websites are known to be patched
- Don't install Java - uninstall it if it's already on your PC (link for this and next tip)
- Don't install Flash - uninstall it if it's already on your PC; instead of Flash use the HTML5 Player on Youtube (it plays everything, just search for what you want and click on the desired result)
- Don't go without antivirus but don't use classic antivirus. Yes, you read that right; try Webroot SecureAnywhere instead. It doesn't download virus definitions nor use heuristics to analyze any possible virus - instead, it analyzes program behavior to stop dangerous activity before it can damage your computer, and it's supposed to leave the lightest footprint and offer the most practical realtime protection - we'll see
Vista/7/8 Fonts on XP
You can get all the basic Windows Vista/7/8 fonts from two sources.
- For fonts that begin with the letter "C" (nope, I'm not kidding;, they all do) download PowerPoint Viewer, which will also install a useless thing called ctfmon.exe; if seeing it run in Task Manager 24/7 drives you nuts (it drives me nuts) use this to get rid of it
- For Segoe UI, download Windows Live Mail (it's not as bad as it sounds - the downloader includes five or six programs but you can uncheck them all except for Live Mail, and you never have to use it; it won't run on start up or otherwise get in your way); download link and some good tips
If I left anything off my lists (or if you'd like to debate me or each other about anything on my lists - I'm sorta democratic like that) please let me know and/or go ahead in the comment section...