Microsoft stopped supporting Windows 7 on Tuesday 14th January 2020. As a result, all Windows 7 users will no longer receive those all-important security updates, leaving them vulnerable to viruses and malware infections.
What does it all mean?
It means that Microsoft is no longer protecting you from cyber attacks seeking to exploit your computer. While the technology company is not stopping you from using Windows 7, you do so at your own risk.
This is because Microsoft customer support is no longer available to Windows 7 users. If hackers manage to find security flaws in Windows 7, then Microsoft will not fix it. The chances of you being successfully attacked using an unsupported operating system increase significantly.
In particular, cybercriminals often use malware to steal personal data, hold companies at ransom and even spy on users without them knowing.
For example, in May 2017, the NHS was hit by the WannaCry ransomware worm. Spreading rapidly, cyber attackers exploited weaknesses in unpatched and out-of-date editions of Windows 7 systems.
What should you do next?
If you are one of the twenty-six percent of Windows users still running on Windows 7, then it’s time to consider upgrading to a new operating system.
Microsoft is urging people to move to Windows 10. They’ve also advised that the best way to experience Windows 10 is on a new PC. This is because it can cope with the demands of the new operating system and deliver a much smoother user experience.
It is possible to install Windows 10 onto older PCs. However, they must have a GHz processor, 16GB of hard drive space and 1GB of RAM memory.
Other options include changing your operating system altogether by installing Linux or switching to Mac. No matter which route you take, you should make sure that your documents are safely backed up.
Here at ICT Solutions, we offer scalable and agile UK hosted backup systems to accommodate you and your business.
But what if my business only runs on Windows 7?
For some businesses, critical applications will not run on newer operating systems. This is particularly the case for places such as hospitals and factories where equipment has been designed exclusively for Windows 7.
Microsoft is offering an extended support package for Windows 7 businesses until January 2023, where you can pay to receive software updates and security patches.
ICT Solutions can help you
Hopefully this has provided you with an insight into the end of Windows 7 and what it means for your business. If you’d like to find out more about the IT services we offer, then get in touch today.