Nina from Pocono Mts, Pennsylvania writes:

I have Windows XP, since Microsoft will no longer secure it’s safety, can I buy my own, like in Norton, etc & will that give me the protection I need to run my PC? Thanks.

First of all Nina, I just have to give a shout-out to the beautiful Pocono Mountains (I went there on my honeymoon back in the 90s) before I start shouting out something that I’ve been shouting for a few months.

Companies like Norton, AVG or McAfee have said that they can’t guarantee the security of Windows XP after Microsoft ceases support. They get their Windows XP Security updates from Microsoft. Companies like AVG may identify viruses or malware, but only Microsoft has the information it takes to get into XP on the basic level and make permanent changes to protect against these threats. The company then shares these updates with third-party security providers.

Still a lot of people just don’t believe me on that one. Take JJM who commented: “Responsive security companies (McAfee, etc) will continue to provide solutions for several millions of XP diehards.’ The FREE MS Security Essentials may not provide protective measures but others will.”

Check out this post on McAfee’s Security Forum from a moderator:

“Microsoft Support ends on 8 April, 2014 for XP and Office 2003 meaning no more Microsoft Windows security updates, therefore those systems are considered dangerous to keep using after that date.

McAfee will cease supporting the consumer products (& Enterprise too) in XP & Office 2003 as follows.”

So, the answer is no, you can’t depend on  third-party security protection to keep your system safe after April 2014.

~ Cynthia