For all we know, Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7 with security updates. This only implies that Windows 7 is now pretty much the same as Windows XP – an older Windows OS. With such news, this unsupported operating system will eventually build up unpatched security holes.
Now, obviously we highly suggest updating to Windows 10 Actually, you can still upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 without any cost or hidden charges. However, if you are still rooting to Windows 7, then this article is for you.
To keep your windows PC secure in 2020, make sure to stay tuned because we will share some valuable information and tips for you on how to secure Windows PC in 2020.
Remove and Update Installed Applications
Windows 7 was released back in 2009, so you have probably some programs that you don’t need installed, especially if these programs are out-dated.
For instance, old versions of browser plug-ins such as QuickTime, Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Java are all easily vulnerable to attack. What you want to do is simply go through this list by going to Windows 7’s Control Panel and get rid of any programs that you don’t need anymore.
Make sure that all programs you use are always updated to the newest versions. For instance, if you still have the older version of WinRAR in your computer, you must manually update it or your computer can be an easy target for malicious treats.
Securing Your OS Settings
If you are utilizing Windows 7, you must absolutely visit Windows Update and make sure that you are up to date with all the updates that Microsoft for the operating system. We also highly suggest having Windows Update automatically check for possible updates.
For all we know, Microsoft might still release some crucial updates for Windows 7 even after Microsoft is not supporting it anymore similar to what Windows XP experience.
Again, make sure to be conscious for update news because Microsoft has actually released a crucial security update for Windows XP back in 2019.
For the most part, the tips for securing your Windows PC are actually the same as they were. Just make sure to leave crucial security functionalities such as Windows Firewall and Account Control turned on.
Don’t click on strange links in your spam mails because it will become easier to exploit Windows 7 in the near future. Also, don’t download and run strange files for your own security.
Using a Secure Browser
If you are still utilizing Windows 7, then you must absolutely avoid running Internet Explorer. In fact, the brand itself – Microsoft has advised moving on to a more modern and secure browser. (Source)
Mozilla Firefox still operates on Windows 7. Mozilla has not said yet how long the brand will support Firefox on Windows 7.
Microsoft’s latest Edge browser also supports Windows 7 and will last until July 15, 2021.
On the other hand, Google Chrome still operates on Windows 7 and will support it with security updates until July 2021.
With Windows 7 no longer receiving updates, your web browser and security software must do their best in protecting you from malicious threats online.
Use Supported Security Program
We suggest operating good antivirus software that still supports Windows 7. However, make sure that it is still actively receiving regular updates. You see, Microsoft says that the company no longer provide updates to its very own Microsoft Security Essentials tool.
However, Microsoft Security Essentials tool still available for download on the company’s website. We don’t really know but Microsoft probably plans to pull these download sooner or later. Nonetheless, if you still have Microsoft Security Essentials on your PC, it will still continue acquiring malware signature updates until 2023 comes.
Of course, some security software brands still offer antimalware that still supports Windows 7 such as BITDEFENDER Free. MALWAREBYTES is also a good option. In fact, MALWAREBYTES’ free version will allow you to perform manual scans to get rid of junk files and apps as well as malware from your system.
Disconnecting Your Windows PC
Regardless if you need Windows 7 for certain purposes, you don’t really need to utilize it for everything. If you require Windows 7 to interface with a certain hardware device or operate an application that doesn’t operate on Window 10, then if possible, we highly suggest keeping the Windows 7 computer off your network.
You see, network-based and malicious sites attacks out there won’t be a problem at all. For the most part, your Windows 7 system can’t be turned against and compromised other devices on your network. You don’t need to get anxious about security problems if the Windows 7 system is cut off from the potentially harmful internet.
Now, if you want to operate an older application that doesn’t operate on Windows 10, then it may also be worth levelling up to Windows 10 and operating that older software program in a Windows 7 virtual machine on your Windows 10 desktop. Remember that older software program will operate just fine on Windows 10, that’s why this should not be really required for various applications.
For all we know, many users out there will still stick with Windows 7, and connecting it to the internet is pretty obvious.
Paying for Security Updates
If you’re a business or a part of an organization, then we highly suggest to pay for extended security updates if you are still using Windows 7. Of course, this particular option is not available to home users out there.
In addition, the exact price range for the updates will most likely depend on whether you have Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Enterprise.
What to Remember
Out-dated software as a security risk
The risk of utilizing any unsupported applications especially unsupported OS is the following:
- At a certain point, vulnerability will be found that won’t be fixed
- Malware can easily exploit this particular weakness unsupported OS
Of course, you will then be relying on your general knowledge and some security tools in order to safeguard you. Depending on who you discuss to, this is either pretty much good as complete non-issue.
You should always keep in mind that continuing to use Windows 7 will gradually become more irritating than being worthy.
Eventually, more and more program developers will stop supporting Windows 7.
Now, if that includes your security program, then you must find a replacement immediately.
Of course, our general suggestion – Microsoft Security Essentials will always be a good choice. This utility will keep operating for quite some time regardless of Windows 7 cut-off date. But remember that Microsoft won’t support this utility forever.
As long as the brand keeps supporting Windows 7, you can always use it. Of course, it’s actually the same rule for any program you are currently using. But then again, finding some alternative is still a smart decision.
The best move is to upgrade to the latest version of Windows, which is Windows 10.
Truth be told, there’s nothing special you must do in order to utilize Windows 7 beyond its support time frame. Just perform things like keeping your security software updated.
Of course, you can also use your common sense and general knowledge and you’re always secured. Of course, that includes not downloading certain things and not opening emails.
Keep in mind that Windows 7 will get more potentially harmful eventually as flaws are exploited. Nonetheless, the exact damage that Windows 7 is vulnerable to will most likely depend on what security flaws are discovered and how serious they are.
Of course, you can still keep using Windows 7. However, you might consider it once again especially if you have some personal and sensitive data and information stored in your computer.