Mark your calendars: April 8 is THE END.

No, this is not some end times prophesy– rather on April 8, 2014 Microsoft will no longer support or issue security updates for their Windows XP operating system.

If you use– or have in the back of a closet– a computer that runs Windows XP you should be concerned about this. Why? After that date your computer will become a security risk. After the 8th if a hacker with malicious intent discovers a flaw in XP’s security (or already knows of a flaw and is waiting for the deadline to arrive) Microsoft will NOT update their software to fix the problem.

If you have an XP computer here are some suggestions for what you should do:

  • Update XP Now – go online and run Microsoft Update to have all of the latest updates installed on your machine.
  • No Internet – after April 8th you should not access the internet with an XP computer.
  • Upgrade – most computers old enough to have xp will probably not have the necessary hardware to upgrade to Windows 8.1 so you should seriously consider buying a new computer.
  • Consider Other Options – With recent advances in mobile technology you may no longer need a traditional PC. Consider a tablet or other mobile device– with a bluetooth keyboard many are finding they can be used a laptop replacement.

The end IS near! Are you ready? Don’t be left behind.

For (slightly) more information see Microsoft’s official Windows XP end of support page.