Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7. There have been no updates or security patches since January 2020. This lack of support means that a hacker (or attacker) can easily compromise a computer running it. They could also potentially compromise the network and any computer or devices connected to it.
Are you still using Windows 7?
If so, it’s crucial to quarantine your computer by disconnecting it from the Internet and your network. Remember, most printers nowadays also connect to the Internet, so ensure they are unplugged as well. The computer should be isolated, with nothing connected to it.
Attackers use the Internet to access computers and install exploit-code, exploiting vulnerabilities in the operating system. These exploits allow attackers to compromise the system and execute their chosen code. Since security updates are not available for Windows 7 to address vulnerabilities, it has a “zero-day” vulnerability forever. With no security updates available, the best way to secure it if you can’t upgrade it to a newer version is by disconnecting it from the Internet, your network, and all other devices.
Does Anti-virus and Anti-malware Software on Windows 7 Protect You?
Some companies claim that anti-virus software on computers running Windows 7 can help block attacks and clean up infections if they occur. However, without the ability to update the operating system, attackers who are aware of exploits in Windows 7 could still compromise the computer. Therefore, relying solely on anti-virus software to guard against these vulnerabilities is not advisable.
Upgrading Helps Keep You Safe from Known Security Holes
One of the most straightforward yet essential security measures is to keep your operating system, like Microsoft Windows, and any added software up to date. Updates help protect against known security holes.
Software companies often provide an automatic update feature that notifies you when a new update is available. Installing these updates promptly and removing any old, outdated software is essential, as this can help to prevent significant issues later on.
Microsoft advises to upgrade to Windows 11 to keep your files protected and minimize the risk of viruses and malware, and they recommend purchasing a Windows 11 computer.