You’re on your own with Windows 7

As of today, Microsoft will no longer be supporting the Windows 7 operating system. This means there’ll be no further security patches issued for the operating system, and no more updates or bug fixes to the software.

Even if a vulnerability is detected, Microsoft will not spend time fixing it.

Just like Windows Vista and Windows XP, Windows 7 has come to the end of its life, and you’re best advised to upgrade and start using a currently supported version of the Windows operating system with cyber security measures built in.

If you choose not to upgrade, the unsupported version of the operating system you are using will still work. You should ensure that you protect your environment with recommended antivirus tools and anti-malware software, but be warned that it won’t be enough to protect an unsupported operating system from all kinds of cyber attack – unsupported platforms are vulnerable. Read 12 different kinds of cyber attack.

Windows 7 has been operating for just over 10 years, so Microsoft’s decision to bring it to a close isn’t too much of a surprise. And it’s made the upgrade process fairly easy.

If you have a software key for Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 you can try and upgrade to Windows 10 free. Without a software key, this won’t be possible and you’ll either need to pay for your upgrade, or buy a new PC! (Although the free offer to upgrade has officially lapsed, some users are still managing to use it.)

At some point, most software and hardware vendors are likely to stop supporting Windows 7 too. This will expose you to a scenario where business solutions will no longer operate correctly (or may not work at all subsequent to a software upgrade).

Window of opportunity for cyber criminals

It would be wise to upgrade as soon as you can. Like most criminals, cyber criminals select easy targets and will be particularly interested in users and businesses who haven’t yet upgraded to the newer operating system.

Before you upgrade, be sure to backup your system fully so that you’re protected from security vulnerabilities during the transition process.

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