There are only a few days left before one of the most used operating systems in the world, such as Windows 7, ceases to receive official support. This is something that Microsoft has been warning for years, especially due to the wide use that this version of Windows still has.
Despite the closeness of the date, there are still many millions of computers that are still running Windows 7 , with the dangers that this could carry. For those who have not yet learned, this is something that will become effective on the next 14, so this popular operating system will no longer receive updates. This means that Microsoft will not implement any security or feature updates for the operating system.
That is why those of Redmond have long been asking Windows 7 users to upgrade, preferably to Windows 10 . But with everything and with it, despite the risks, there are those who refuse to change to the most modern version of the system. It is true that there may be some reasons to do that, but we are also exposed to any security vulnerability that appears. Of course, these security-related problems will no longer be resolved by any patch , which is a serious inconvenience.
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Windows 7 will stop receiving support in just a few days
There are those who want to keep the old version of Windows because they distrust the privacy of Windows 10 for telemetry issues. There are those who have no power in their equipment or simply because they are happy as they are. For whatever reason, when exposed from day 14, let’s see some solutions and tips to keep our PC safe. This is something that directly affects the operating system, and everything we use in it, of course.
Keep in mind that around 30% of PC users, which is a lot, will be exposed, even greater risk if you continue to access the Internet from these computers . Therefore, if you want to continue working in a relatively safe way from your Windows 7 PC once you stop receiving support, we will give you some tips .
First of all we should know that those companies that have Windows 7 Enterprise or Pro, can continue to receive updates for a maximum period of 3 years. Of course, how could it be otherwise, they will have to pay for that extra support. For PCs with the Enterprise version , the cost will be 25 euros per user the first year, 50 the second and 100 the third. On the other hand, the cost for the Pro version will be 50, 100 and 200 euros per year, respectively. Of course, we also have the possibility to opt for the services of the company oPatch . This is a security firm that will continue to update Windows 7 without installing patches.
Specifically, they will offer us a series of patches that do not modify the operating system files as such, but instead locate and patch the vulnerabilities directly in the computer’s RAM . To do this, the firm will first analyze the official Microsoft patches for Windows 10 and 8.1, in order to decide if that security flaw would affect Windows 7. If so, it will be put into operation to patch the computers with the system without support.
This is something valid for all those who have any of these versions, not only companies, but also end users. Therefore, you can always opt for this option to protect your computers with Windows 7. If not, we will have to think about taking other additional measures to continue as we are.
Take care of the software you use on your computer with an unsupported Windows 7
As it is easy to imagine, using a good antivirus will be something fundamental when it comes to protecting our PC and everything that it contains in its disk drives . Thus, at this point, it is best to get a good security solution, whether paid or free, to continue protecting our PC. Obviously we will have to take special care to keep it updated at all times. As you know, there are many antivirus programs that we can opt for at the moment, so we will have to select the best option.
Another section to take into account at this point, is that we will not only have to have the latest version of the antivirus that we use on the PC. This is something that should be extended to each and every one of the programs that we install and use on the Windows 7 computer . The reason is simple, and although Microsoft does not correct the operating system security flaws, many of the other developers will do so for their software.
On the other hand, in the case that you regularly use programs that are already implemented in the Microsoft system, it will be time for us to start looking for third-party alternatives that continue to be updated. This is due to the same reason that we mentioned earlier, although Windows 7 and its apps do not receive patches, the rest will, at least for a while. And we must add to this that with the passing of months, or years, many programs will also cease to be compatible with this version of Windows. Therefore, when the time comes for us to see that updates of a certain program no longer arrive, we should look for a similar one.
Internal changes of Windows 7 to protect it
But problems, or dangers, can reach us through a multitude of paths in a system without updating, more as time goes by. That is why we also recommend, as of January 14, not to use the administrator user account in Windows 7. It is more advisable and safe to create and use a standard user account. This is because in this way the malware will not be able to modify any system file, which will be much safer. Thus, in the event that we need to change something in the system, we temporarily switch to the administrator account, make the changes, and return to the standard.
There are several tips that we have given you so far to protect the data with which you will work in a team if official support. But you also have to know that none will be 100% effective. That is why another of the recommendations that we can give you from these lines, is to make periodic backups of all your data. Because one of the great dangers that we are going to encounter when working with an unprotected system is ransomware , having that backup can be very useful.
Thus, in the event that we see that at some point in the future, our computer is blocked or damaged by malware, important data will be safe elsewhere. Because of course, as is easy to imagine, these backups should be stored in external drives so that they are not exposed. Anyway, there is also nothing better to protect the violation or theft of personal data, than secure passwords. That is why we must also use these elements for everything. Either to access the PC locally, for applications that support it, and of course, on online platforms.
Moreover, the most advisable is to use complex and secure passwords, and also never repeat it in several places. As a help to all this, surely we use a manager of these passwords very well. To all this we can add the activation of the Bitlocker functionality to encrypt and password protect the contents of our disk drives.
Be very careful with what you do on the Internet
There is no doubt that, once we have run out of official support in Windows 7, one of the big risks we run will depend on the use we make of the Internet . In fact there are going to be many cyber attackers who will be on the prowl of these “unprotected” teams. Therefore, when the time comes, we must pay special attention to the links or download files we click on.
This is something that is extended to both the websites we visit from an updated browser, and to the email messages we receive. Moreover, when we receive a message from an unknown sender, it is best to delete it immediately to avoid major evils. Similarly, we must configure the computer to use secure or reliable DNS, as these will help us block malicious Internet sites.
On the other hand, another of the sections with which we must take special care is with everything related to downloads through P2P networks and torrent files . These types of downloads are very likely to introduce all types of malware on our computer, especially if we do not have much experience in its use, or if we are not properly protected.
Somewhat more drastic alternative solutions
Thus, these are the best tips that we can offer you right now to be able to continue using Windows 7 once Microsoft stops sending security patches. But of course, we can always choose to use a somewhat more drastic measure. By this we mean using the PC with this operating system, but without any Internet connection. In this way, if we need to download something, we can do it safely from other protected equipment or with a system with support , for example.
With everything and with it, whenever we have the possibility in one way or another, it is advisable to migrate to a convenient operating system protected by its developers . It can be paid as Windows 10, or we can also opt for other free solutions such as a Linux distribution , for example.
At the same time, it is worth knowing that we still have the possibility to update for free from Windows 7 to Windows 10 , something we already talked about.