Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) is an upgrade no XP user should be without.
Rather than a being just a simple patch, SP2 is verging on a system upgrade. Reconfiguring XP to make it more resistant to attack, it beefs up the system firewall and turns it on by default.
Internet Explorer has a number of new features, most noticeably the turning on by default of existing pop-up blocking software. The browser will also block pop-ups under windows, windows that are bigger than the computer screen and frameless windows.
An add-on control has been installed so that applications will not automatically download upgrades or plug-ins, disabling a feature that currently hackers are able to exploit.
But because SP2 changes so much, users may find that some existing applications will need to be tweaked to run at their best.
Security begins with personal responsibility and XP users should get SP2 installed as quickly as possible.
Our Special Report will keep you up to date with all the latest news on SP2.
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