R.I.P Windows 7

And so it came to pass, that the glorious OS that was Windows 7, was finally laid to rest on the 14th January 2020……..

Having been introduced more than 10 years ago, Windows 7 has been part of our lives for a very long time. Phones have got smarter, laptops have got lighter, tablets have replaced computers in many households, and the Internet is available (almost) everywhere we go.

It is estimated that more than 2 thirds, a whopping 66%, of the UK’s businesses are still using Windows 7 – yes, even today as we said our final, tearful farewell to it.

Does this really matter? Why are we all making such a fuss about what is “just” an operating system? Will your computer suddenly pack up and die from today?

In a world where we have become so reliant upon the internet the answer is that yes, this really does matter. For personal use we run the risk of allowing the unscrupulous to access our computers as they become less secure. For businesses you run the risk of being fined for not keeping your customer’s data secure.

If you are still running Windows 7 you have the following three options:

Option One: Do nothing. Stick with Windows 7 and carry on as normal. Seems reasonable – no, your computer won’t suddenly pop its clogs, and on the surface, this costs you nothing. However, by doing nothing you are effectively handing over access to your computer to scammers. Every remaining Windows 7 device is a potential target for cyber-attacks by hackers, all of whom know there are no more security updates coming thereby leaving your machine in the easy target list.

Option Two: Spend some more money with Microsoft. They have told Windows 7 users that they will still support this OS with updates and security patches – as long as you are willing to pay for it. Is this worth your while? To help you make an informed choice, here are the official costs from Microsoft for extended support: year one, so from now,  January 2020 to 2021, if you are using Windows 7 Enterprise you will need to pay $25 per machine. This doubles to $50 in the second year and goes up to $100 for the third year. Windows 7 Pro is going to cost even more, starting at $50 before going up to $100 in year two and $200 during year three.

Option Three: Get in touch with us today and see if you can get your computer upgraded to Windows 10. This latest version of Windows is more secure, more user-friendly and has a wealth of other features that will help synch all of your tech and make life a little easier. As we drift further away from January 2020 we will start to see software applications no longer working on Windows 7, and the more secure websites beginning to deny us access. For a home user, this could lead to frustration – for a business this could lead to disruption.  The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has the ability to fine businesses up to £500,000 or 4% of annual global turnover, which ever is greater, for security breaches. Indeed, Dixons Retail has just been hit with this, £500,000 for a data breach.

Upgrading from Windows 7 may feel like an unnecessary expense and wasted time, but it is essential to keep your data secure and accessible only to you. Sticking your head in the sand and hoping it will go away is akin to leaving your front door wide open for anyone to pop in, have a snoop around, and see what they fancy taking.

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