Windows 7 Has Officially Reached End of Life.
Windows 7, the operating system created by Microsoft released in 2009, has officially been decommissioned and support for this version has ended. This means that updates and security patches will no longer be provided to the millions of computers still using the operating system. It is estimated that 1/3 of computers around the world are currently running Windows 7, according to NetMarketShare. This is a major event that impacts businesses and individuals in so many ways, as attackers will likely look to pounce and exploit the stragglers who have yet to move on to updated versions.
So what can impacted users who still use Windows 7 do? Luckily there are some options to to protect yourself.
For starters, don't throw your device away - your device is still usable and you do not need a new one; it is just less secure now that it will not be receiving vital updates that Microsoft hands out during its "Patch Tuesdays" series. Being less secure means your device is more susceptible to viruses and malware when you connect to the internet. Secondly, there are two options you can choose from:
Upgrade your existing computer equipment to Windows version 10. There are a couple of versions, starting at $139 and are able to be run on older equipment, even ones running Windows 7. There is a compatibility guide that helps users determine specification needs
If upgrading isn't an option, then it is time to buy a new device that is running the up-to-date version of Windows 10.
Unfortunately, those are the only two options available for users so it is imperative that the millions of susceptible users out there take action soon. In the meanwhile, users should, at a minimum, keep their browsers updated in order to have some layer of protection while browsing online. Google Chrome, for example, has stated that it will continue to provide updates to browsers running Windows 7 until July 2021. This alone isn't sufficient enough to protect your computer but it is a step for users who have yet to make the change.