I help out on several computer help forums and one question that keeps popping up is “I am still running XP, do I really need to upgrade?”
IMO, it is as secure as it ever was. Just need to be a bit more careful.
XP will not be compromised over night. I very much doubt there will be that many issues unless the user practice unsafe surfin. It is not like hackers will be hacking into every computer that has xp on it. The user will have to download something or click on the wrong thing for the hacker to even access the computer. But that can happen even with the newest operating system. If you read the news releases carefully, not one of them says your computer WILL get compromised, they only say MIGHT or MAY
Microsoft placed a nag screen on xp if using mse (Microsoft Security Essentials) about it being unsecured and to upgrade. No telling what else Microsoft will be putting on your computer to try to convince people to upgrade.
A lot of people will get scared thinking their computer had been compromised and purchase an operating system that will not even run on their computer. Most who have xp have older/obsolete computers. So they will spend about 100 bucks for an os they cannot return if it does not work. Most of those xp computers are not even worth 100 bucks so why spend the money. Not everybody can afford a new computer.
If you do the following you should be okay until you get your next computer.
1. Make sure your antivirus is always up to date.
2. Use a companion utility to your antivirus such as Malwarebytes. Companion utilities will check for nasties the antivirus will not check for.
3. Do not use Microsoft Internet Explorer. It will no longer be updated for xp also. Use Firefox, Chrome, Opera or one of the many other browsers. They will continue to be updated for XP for a while.
4. Stay away from risky sites
5. Disable html for your emails. Receive them in text format.
6. If all you do is read emails, get news and stream movies, then consider getting Linux operating system. It is free and generally works like winxp. I would suggest Linux Mint.
Finally, IMO, if Microsoft really wanted people to upgrade for security reasons, they would give the upgrade away for free. It is really all about profit.