Although there are different versions of Windows that comes after Windows 7, still many users use Windows 7, so they want to know is Windows 7 still supported? In this article, we are going to answer this question and tell you what to do if you are still using Windows 7.
Does Support for Windows 7 Has Ended?
After almost 10 years of supporting security updates and technical support for Windows 7, it is ended on January 14, 2020. Despite all the difficulties of changing Windows, it can be beneficial for you as the user.
What Should You Do If You Are Still Using Windows 7?
Those businesses that still use Windows 7 are at risk and they should update it immediately. The deadline of upgrading from Windows 7 has ended, and it is now just unsupported operating system (OS); thus, unless you want to put your laptop or PC to open bugs, faults and cyber-attacks. What is best is to upgrade it immediately.
If you are still using Windows 7 and you didn’t move to Windows 10 or Windows 11, it means that Windows 7 is still popular. Windows 7 is one of the most famous operating systems among users, and still ranking in 36% of active users after it first released, which is not far from Windows 10 with about 43.6% active users. Unfortunately, the amount of popularity does not affect on protecting your system.
Why Upgrade Is Needed?
Microsoft asserted that support for Windows 7 ceased on 14 January 2020, but it doesn’t mean that Windows 7 stops functioning. It means that it will not receive any more security updates, and zero technical support.
You may say that I can take risks and I don’t want to upgrade my system because it still works fine for me, but remember the main target of attackers are those systems with unsupported operating systems. They can use your system to install different kinds of malware, ransomware, and spyware, or they can destroy your data on your system easily, which is too risky for businesses.
When Microsoft ended the support of Windows 7, some users upgraded their operating system. After that, a few ways presented to use Windows 7 for little longer. For the users that run Windows 7 in a virtual machine can do the Azure Virtual Desktop service that comes at no extra cost if a business is the costumer of Azure. If you would like to virtualize Windows 7 yourself, you can use custom virtual machines.
On the other hand, users have the option to sign up to the Extended Security Update (ESU) program that the latest updates will be provided to Windows 7 with the cost which is agreed between a client and Microsoft account team and partners.
We should mention that these options should be viewed as a method for making it easy to use not a way to stop you from migration. Microsoft considers ESU as the last option, and even the extended support for this program will be stopped in January 2023.
Change the Guard
The support for Windows 7 will arrive slowly, but for IT decision-makers, the deadline of January 2020 was a turnover because IT project deployment can be slow. Dale Titcombe, who is the head of IT at BCS told that it was not too early to start work on migrating from Windows 7 to Windows 10.
Titcombe said last year that we cannot assume that remedial work will not need, and in the process of migration, some projects may be presented, which need to prioritize and resource them. He argues the easy part is the process of upgrading the machines to a new OS, which can be done during some days with right provisioning. He added that the difficult part is that you have recognized the issues that you have in your environment and also planning the project.
If you have the larger organization, it is more likely to start migration work immediately even you haven’t started work on migration. Richard Edwards, distinguished research analyst at Freeform Dynamics, said that the businesses and institutions have been here before, so lessons have already been learned. Large organizations are not the fastest movers, so they should signal a degree of urgency less than a year.
Business Risk Being Left Behind
Windows 7 became more popular even it becomes near of its end date, which means that a significant number of desktops were become vulnerable unless serious changes were made. Titcombe asserted that cyber criminals will attack the system as soon as the end of the deadline.
He also mentioned that businesses which stick to Windows 7 will be out of touch, and that is where to move to Windows 10. He said that any organization, business, or person move to Windows 10, for sure they will be amazed about the speed, the dynamic environment, and its support of software like Office 365 and Windows server 2016, so moving to Windows 10 can be a way to fresh look at IT more generally.
He explained that as we move to Windows 10, we pushed the organizational IT policy to more cloud operations and SaaS solution. He added that Windows 10 environment is more dynamic than previous Windows.
Much of the great features are providing in operating systems of Windows 10 and Windows 11. Newer software and hardware are designed with the latest operating system with no guarantee of the same experience of Windows 7.
Edwards said that exactly the same year the Microsoft gave us Windows 7, Apple provided the iPhone 3GS, and Google provided Android 2.0. From that time how much Microsoft Windows developed, so we need to move up or change the course.
Slow And Steady Wins the Race
If you move away from Windows 7, it means that it is possible to think carefully about the IT setup, and also do a general clean on the hardware and software sides. Thus, when the deadline has finished, for those organizations that haven’t move from Windows 7 to make a basic shift.
Edward advised to know why you are upgrading and do not do it blindly. If Windows 10 does not attractive, you can take a look at the other ways seriously like Windows 10 in S mode. Remember that the tools we shape the way we work. The hardware of system can run different kinds of operating system. For example, you can take a look at CloudReady which supported by Google from Neverware.
When an organization use Windows 7 after that, they should do upgrading in a measured and controlled way not at the last moment. As Titcombe said that it is necessary if you want to have a smooth upgrade.
How to Keep Continuing Using Windows 7 Safely with No More Updates?
Windows 7 considers as one of the top Windows operating systems because organizations, businesses and individuals are still using this operating system even after Microsoft ended the support in January 2020. If you want to have the safest option, you should upgrade your Windows 7 to Windows 10 or 11. If you don’t want to upgrade your operating system, there are some ways to use Windows 7 without any update, but it is not safer than using a supported operating system.
Know the Risks Well
If you think that there is not any risk with Windows 7, you must know that even supported Windows operating system are in danger of attacks. Still there are some attackers that exploit this situation. Developers are in hurry to issue effective security patches. When you are using Windows 7, when the attackers want to target Windows 7, there will not be any security patches.
If you are the person who doesn’t use antivirus software, and visit questionable sites, the risk is too high. If you use even reputable sites, malicious adverts can put you on exposed. Although even Windows 10 and 11 are in risks, they are continuously updated that it reduces these risks and making them more secure.
The key point is that using Windows 7 is riskier than Windows 10 and 11, but some users know how to decrease these risks. Considering that Windows 7 still have more than 25 percent market share, which means that a lot of users still stick to Windows 7.
Although you can use your computer without using antivirus, most people don’t care about avoiding dangers. The responsibility of antivirus is blocking sites with expired security certificates, which usually have malicious ads or scripts. Sites should be safe from any danger, but it’s probable to be the target any kind of attack.
Search about different antiviruses to know which one is the best based on your needs. You should look for specific features in an antivirus like real-time protection, automatic updates, easy to use, and efficiency. You just need one antivirus for your system.
You can also use another option, Windows Defender, which works on Windows 7 and later versions of Windows. If you think that something infected your system before, you can use the offline version of Microsoft Defender on another computer, and then, use your USB drive to scan your system. For more protection, you can download Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 7.
Update Your Browser
Usually, your browser has some security features. Any extra line, which protect your system from any threat can be helpful.
Google said that Chrome will work with Windows 7 till the end of January 2023. Most browsers notify you about updates or they automatically update it. You should install them to get recent security updates for the browsers. Any browser that you use, keep it up to date. Most important thing is not to use Internet Explorer since it is not safe for many years.
If you use different kinds of extensions or plugins, delete those you don’t use. Outdated extensions can be the target of different attacks. If you use an extension, you should check for updates monthly.
If you use Windows 7 safely, so you shouldn’t worry about the ads that sites use. Although some websites have some adverts for paying bills, some other sites are careless about the adverts they use.
As an example, most famous sites might be risky, like Forbes that tried to force users to stop using ad-blocking tools to provide malware for those who disabled their adblockers.
It is better to block adverts when you use an outdated operating system since it increases your safety. There are some options to do so is mentioned below:
- uBlock which blocks ads and trackers and allow you to customize filters
- AdBlock which is customizable and allows unintrusive adverts to support site if you let it to do so.
- AdBlock Plus which works exactly to AdBlock but there is no relation between them.
Although some browsers have ad-block tools in themselves, Brave is also great option if you don’t like to install a special plugin.
Use Updated Software
Find software that they are actively supported and don’t stick to software, which are outdated. For instance, Chrome supports Windows 7, and it gets regular security updates.
It is a great idea to upgrade to Office 365, and try to stay away from questionable software like audio and video downloaders, which comes with dangerous trackers and keyloggers.
For sure, for every operating system that you use, you need to be caution, but if you use Windows 7 safely, you should be more cautious than usual. It is necessary not to click on adverts online, and don’t click on any alerts, which says that your system is infected unless it is an alert directly for your antivirus.
Don’t visit sites, which are well-known for being dangerous like adult sites or P2P downloading sites. Don’t open an email unless that you know it is safe. If you are not sure, click the name of the sender to verify the email address before clicking on email itself.
Being cautious is simply means using updates software and also using antivirus to keep your system safe when you are using Windows 7. But we still suggest you to upgrade your system to Windows 10.
Secure Your Network
This suggestion is not related to what operating system do you use, but if you use Windows 7, you must know that Windows 7 is easier for hackers to exploit your system because Windows 7 doesn’t receive any security patches.
To secure your network, you have to create a strong password, so hackers can’t break into your network as network resources. Moreover, having a strong Wi-Fi password will help you have a strong defense against attacks. Wi-Fi password can neutralize those attacks and keep your Windows 7 safe.
Never connect to a public Wi-Fi without a VPN because it is easy for hackers to get all your data on your system. This is also true for any device on public Wi-Fi.
Many sites are in HTTPS by default, and they are secure for transmitting your data between your PC and online servers. If a site doesn’t have HTTPS, they can allow attackers to access to your personal data.
Some browser alert you if the site doesn’t have HHTPS or their certificate is expired. You can see https at the beginning of the URL in your browser with the security lock icon. Click the URL box to view the full URL. Although the sites are safe, it is better not to click any adverts.
Windows 7 is very popular among the users. Although there are new versions came out after Windows 7, many users prefer to use Windows 7. In this article, we presented the date of stopping the supporting of Windows 7, and we provided the tips for you if you want to keep using Windows 7. Which version of Windows do you use? Are you a fan of Windows 7? Do you still use Windows 7? Share your ideas with us.