A CRUCIAL deadline for bank ATMs, supermarket checkout machines and other systems using the popular Microsoft Windows XP software kicks in next week.
After Sunday the global corporation will cease to provide free technical support involving regular updates to fix bugs and security loopholes.
This could leave users open to hacking and viruses unless they pay extra fees for the service or update to a more modern software platform.
Banks and other major businesses with outlets across the south-west have either updated software, are working to meet the deadline or have agreed to pay Microsoft to continue support until an upgrade is installed.
South West Credit updated its Lava Street headquarters ATM a year ago, chief executive David Brown said.
“All other Redi ATMs used by credit unions and the NAB network have also been updated with recent software,” Mr Brown said.
ANZ, which opened the region’s newest bank branch in Liebig Street, Warrnambool this month, said work had started to upgrade the entire ATM fleet to Windows 7.
The branch uses Next Generation technology with digital imaging to help customers deposit cheques and cash.
According to NetMarketshare statistics about 30 per cent of Australian computers still run on XP.