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Don’t Be Caught Out! Upgrade From Windows 7 Now!

Windows 7, launched in July 2009, has had a decade long success rate, but Microsoft have decided to pull the plug on its outdated platform; ‘End of Life begins on January 14th 2020 and Windows 10 seems to be the preferred successor. Despite giving notice of this well over a year ago, many users have still not switched, a mere 36.43% of Windows 7 users (NetMarketShare) had migrated to other platforms as of April 2019, the same source also reported that as many as 39% of all PCs are running Windows 7.  Scarily, most of the computers still obstinately running this antiquated operating system, belong to corporate organisations. To clarify, after January 14th, Windows 7 will still work – it won’t cease to exist or function but your computer, and therefore your network and server, will become at vulnerable to malware.

 

Not only does this mean that companies will be left at risk to potential hacking threats due to no more patches or security updates, but they will also have to pay through the nose for any technical support for Windows 7 as this will no longer be offered from Microsoft.

We’ve all heard horror stories of companies running outdated, unsupported versions of operating systems and ended up having to pay ransomware demands to get their files and systems returned to them unscathed. Businesses that continue to operate using Windows 7 after the End of Life date risk not just the company’s personal data but that of their customers and therefore are likely to incur a large fine for not being compliant with GDPR legislation. Hackers prey on vulnerabilities in technology within such companies and if enough people remain on Windows 7 it will be worthwhile for cybercriminals to develop malware specifically designed to infect this software. But it’s not just businesses who are at risk.

What does this mean to you at home? Well, the immediate risk is any files or data on your computer which could be used for fraudulent activity. Not just this but if your router and network were also infiltrated then this means anything connected to your network could potentially be at risk. What’s connected to your network? A lot more than you might realise: virtual assistants such as Google Home Assistant or Amazon Echo; security systems such as ‘Ring’ the security doorbell or online baby monitoring hardware and your smartphone.

TechRadar have some advice on what the options are regarding changing to a current and supported operating system. Read more about this here.

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