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Using Win7 Safely After Jan 2020

Using Win7 Safely
After Jan 2020

For various reasons, you may still be one of the few people, who has yet to migrate to Windows 10. I am one of those people. At the time of this writing, I am still running Windows 7 Professional on my ThinkPad laptop. Microsoft has announced that support for Windows 7 will end in mid January 2020. I personally don't like the fact that Microsoft and computer manufacturers are "forcing" people to migrate from Windows 7 to Windows 10. The fact is, for many users, they don't really need the upgrade. I have seen a few offices still using Windows XP until today, and they are doing just fine.

Microsoft has warned users that using Windows 7 after support ends will mean that users are vulnerable to security risks. Well, that is a possibility. About 20 years back they said computers would crash with the Y2K bug. It was such a fuss, and manufacturers started coming up with Y2K-compliant computers. Come year 2000, nothing happened. I think it's the same thing with Windows 7. Yes, the risks are there and it will be increased. But, as there are businesses that can still run using Windows XP, there is no reason your office or business can't still run using Windows 7. So, the big question: how can you keep using Windows 7 safely after support ends?

I found this article on askleo.com and it explains in brief yet precise ways how you can keep using Windows 7 safely after support ends. Read it below:

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How To Keep Using Windows 7 Safely After Support Ends

by Leo A. Notenboom

Yes, it'll be possible to keep using Windows 7 after it's no longer supported. However, doing so safely will depend on you.

I want to keep using Windows 7, but support is ending. Am I screwed?

No, you're not screwed.

You may very well be able to keep using Windows 7 safely, just as a small number of people continue to use Windows XP to this day.

You simply have to take responsibility for keeping yourself safe — even more than before.

Keeping Windows 7

The analogy I used in the previous version of this article for Windows XP was this: it's like keeping your old 1957 Chevy that still runs great.

Sure, it's a simpler vehicle, but it has no seatbelts, air bags, navigation system, backing-up camera, anti-lock brakes, nor whatever else we take for granted on modern vehicles. Getting leaded gas or an equivalent is a bit of a problem, and driving the old girl requires a different skill set — for example, do you still remember how (and why?) to pump the brakes?

And, of course, when something fails, you have a problem. You won't easily find a repair shop to help, not to mention replacement parts, and there certainly won't be any fixes or recalls.

As long as you're willing to work around all that, you can certainly keep driving it until it fails beyond repair.

Staying safe with Windows 7

To be honest, there's nothing really new or special you need to do to use Windows 7 beyond its support window (which ends, as of this writing, January 14, 2020). You just need to pay more attention to the things you should be doing already.

Keep your security software up to date. Keep all your other applications up to date. Be even more skeptical when it comes to downloads and emails.

Keep doing all the things that allow us to use our computers and the internet safely — with a little more attention than before.

Diminishing support

Over time, more and more software vendors will stop supporting Windows 7.

If that includes your security software, you'll need to find a replacement right away. Microsoft Security Essentials — my general recommendation — will keep working for some time independent of the Windows 7 cut-off date, but Microsoft won't support it forever.

That's true for any security software you run. As long as it keeps supporting Windows 7, you can keep running it. The moment it doesn't, you need to find an alternative.

Pragmatically, that's true for any software you run: at some point, Windows 7 support will be dropped, and you'll need to either find an alternative, stop using that software, or upgrade to a supported version of Windows.

Outdated software as a security risk

The risk of using any unsupported software, but particularly an unsupported operating system, is this:

At some point, a vulnerability will be discovered that will not be fixed

Malware will exploit that vulnerability

You'll then be relying on only your security tools — and your own common sense — to protect you.

Depending on who you talk to, this is either almost certain doom or a complete non-issue.

Naturally, I fall somewhere in between.

As we've seen with Windows XP, predictions of catastrophe failed to materialize. As I said, there are folks happily and safely running it today. But there are also those who, faced with critical tools, favorite applications, and even hardware dropping support for the OS, have chosen to upgrade.

The same will likely be true for Windows 7; continuing to use it will eventually become more irritating than it's worth.

Exactly how long it'll take for that to happen depends, of course, on you.

Most important of all is that you take the steps to stay safe and remain skeptical.


(Link to original article: here)

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I have developed a presentation on this topic. If you need a consultation or detailed briefing on how you can stay safe using Windows 7 after support ends, book a session with us. Drop me a line at naim@amz.com.my.

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