Today We Say Goodbye to Windows 7
Goodbye Windows 7 – today, January 14th 2020, is the day that Microsoft officially ends security support for Windows 7 computers. This means that PCs still running the decade old operating system will no longer be receiving security updates from Microsoft. According to NetMarketShare’s statistics, 1/3 of PCs around the world are still running Windows 7.
Microsoft urges all of these users to update to a newer operating system, either Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 in order to stay protected against malware threats such as ransomware. Sensitive personal information on your home or business PCs are at risk of exposure.
It’s not all bad news – Google has said that it will continue to release updates for its Chrome browser for Windows 7 until 2021. However, this by no means covers all security bases, and migrating to a newer operating system is still the best option in terms of cybersecurity.
If upgrading is not an option, follow these best practices to keep yourself protected:
For businesses still running Windows 7, your employees are the first line of defense against malware. One of the most common methods of infection is through malicious links in fraudulent emails – a strategy known as phishing. By education your employees with frequent seminars on current threats and phishing telltale signs, you can minimize the likelihood that malware can infiltrate your network. If you would like an overview on some of our recommendations against phishing, you can check out our article on the topic here: Phishing Scams – What are they and how can you protect yourself?
For both businesses and consumers, it is important not to store sensitive information such as credit card data on your Windows 7 PC. Furthermore, avoid using online banking apps on Windows 7 PCs.
Don’t fully rely on your Windows 7 PC’s storage. Keep backups of your important data in a separate location – either on an external hard drive, a USB, or on another PC. Some types of malware, such as ransomware, locks user data behind a ransomwall, demanding payment for its release. Once a computer is infected with ransomware and the data is encrypted, it cannot be read unless it is decrypted with a key only known by the attackers.
If you would like to learn more about the dangers of staying on Windows 7, you can visit our page here, or email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org