Support for XP might be ending, but the world is not
Security outfit F-Secure has published its Threat Report for the second half of 2013, which provides a detailed look at the threat landscape as well as trends in malware. It also contains some advice for Windows XP users who aren't planning to upgrade to a newer OS once support ends on April 8, 2014. Whether the decision to stick with XP is based on contractual obligations or other reasons, F-Secure says "all is not lost" for businesses and users who ride it out.
"Patching XP is not the first line of defense. Or it really shouldn't be," F-Secure notes in its report (PDF). "Folks that continue to use XP at home can do so with some reasonable amount of safety, for a while still, but they absolutely need to review their Internet (particularly web browsing) and computing habits."
F-Secure lists out a series of steps XP users should take, starting with the installation of Microsoft's final security update for XP. After that, the security firm recommends ditching Internet Explorer as the default browser. Some other recommendations include keeping Microsoft Office fully patched, reviewing third-party software and uninstalling anything that isn't needed, uninstalling browser plug-ins for software that's kept, have an up-to-date antivirus and firewall installed, stay connected to a NAT router, and of course consider upgrading at some point.
On the mobile front, F-Secure says malware writers almost exclusively target Android, which was the target of 97 percent of new mobile threats in 2013. Trojans account for three-quarters of malware on Android -- these usually come bundled with repackaged apps that look and sound similar to their legitimate counterparts.