Forced to use Windows XP past April? 10 ways to make the best of a bad situation
Security is all about layers
...those XP users left out there are wondering what they can possibly do to mitigate their risks as much as possible. The best course of action without a doubt is moving to Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, but if you can't or won't make such a bold move, then here's the best of what's left on your plate of options.
#1: Ditch the Free AV - Get a Paid Solution
and not depending on any one solution, technology or approach to protect yourself from cyber-criminals. The most important layer is you
...the first and last line of defense
The best defensive strategy
to protect yourself from malware and ransomware (crypto malware) infections is a comprehensive approach
. Make sure you are running an updated anti-virus and anti-malware product, update all vulnerable software, use supplemental security tools with anti-exploitation features
capable of stopping (preventing) infection before it can cause any damage, close/disable Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)
if you do not need it and routinely backup your data
...then disconnect the external drive when the backup is completed. If you must use RDP, the best way to secure it is to either whitelist IP's on a firewall or not expose it to the Internet. Put RDP behind a firewall, only allow RDP from local traffic, setup a VPN to the firewall, use an RDP gateway
, change the default RDP port (TCP 3389) and enforce strong password policies
, especially on any admin accounts or those with RDP privileges.
For more suggestions to protect yourself from ransomware infections, see my comments (Post #2) in this topic...Ransomware avoidance
...it includes a list of prevention tools.
Also see Answers to common security questions - Best Practices for Safe Computing