Another year, another operating system that has reached its end of life. Microsoft has already stopped supporting Windows 7 and 8, with 8.1 to follow suit soon.
What does this mean?
If you are still running Windows 7 or 8 it means that your computer is vulnerable to being hacked. You will not receive any further security updates of fixes for vulnerabilities that are discovered on these systems, making you an ideal target for hackers and criminals looking to find ways to exploit weaknesses and steal data.
How do I know what Windows I am on?
If you’re not sure which version of Windows you have, click the Start Menu button on the bottom-left of your screen, or press the Windows button on your keyboard. Type ‘system’, then click either the System or System Information icon. In the window that opens, you’ll see your Windows version listed at the top.
So, what do I need to do?
You have 3 options – if your computer can support it, you can upgrade to the latest version of Windows. However, upgrades are limited by the age and specification of your current computer. If it’s not powerful enough for the newer OS, it won’t work properly.
The second option, if you are unable to get your computer upgraded, is to buy a new one.
And the third option is to do nothing – if you take this path not only are you leaving your door wide open to hackers, but you will also find that other programs and websites that you use will stop working.
We know that these upgrades are frustrating – it can feel like the big tech companies are just doing them to make more money. But they are necessary – as fast as the tech companies improve, so do the cyber criminals find loopholes to exploit.