Will You Escape The Inevitable Windows 7 Hacker Apocalypse?
On Jan. 14, 2020, Microsoft will end support for Windows 7.
Windows 7 was first launched on July 22, 2009, and despite being a decade old, this operating system is still a fond favorite. Netmarketshare found that Windows 7 is still used on 39 percent of all PCs, both at home and in business. Considering the many difficulties users faced with first installing Windows 10 — including an update from last year that resulted in missing files — it’s not surprising that many users chose to stick with the old and familiar. However, with the end-of-life date looming, it’s time to start planning that upgrade.
Mainstream support for Windows 7 ended on Jan. 13, 2015, when new features stopped being added and warranty claims were no longer valid. The last four years have been the extended support phase. During this phase, Microsoft still patched and updated the operating system, addressing security issues and bugs. When the end-of-life hits on Jan. 14, 2020, this security support ends as well, and PCs still running on Windows 7 will be put at risk.
While you will still be able to use Windows 7 after the end-of-life date, we advise against it. Microsoft will no longer be releasing new patches for viruses or security problems for Windows 7, which means PCs using the operating system will be vulnerable to new threats. The massive WannaCry ransomware attack that swept the globe in 2017 was a cryptoworm that took advantage of security flaws in Windows systems that were past their end-of-life date.
Now is the time to start planning to upgrade to a new operating system. Some people might switch to a new kind of operating system altogether, but the simplest option for most people and businesses will be to upgrade to Windows 10. This will require purchasing a Windows 10 license and making sure your hardware can run the new operating system, so take some time to fit this into your budget.
Note: Don’t try to save a few bucks by upgrading to Windows 8 instead. Windows 8 enters end-of-life on Jan. 10, 2023, which means you’ll find yourself in the same position sooner than you might like.
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