Executive briefing By Bill MacLennan,
CEO at Your Computer Hero
Microsoft stopped regular support for Windows 7 on January 16th, 2020. If you are still running the Windows 7 operating system, you have been notified. Perhaps you even clicked off that Windows 10 upgrade notification and…nothing happened. It’s easy to put off. Perhaps it doesn’t seem like an urgent matter, or it seems like the upgrade will cost too much or maybe there is proprietary software to consider and the upgrade will cause problems. Either way, next week, next month or next year, I am going to get a panicked phone call from a business owner who got hacked because they didn’t upgrade a computer on their network. That doesn’t have to be you. Let’s avoid that terrible and costly situation.
Reason #1: The Computer Didn’t Start on Fire and No One Stole Your Data Today
It’s hard to be proactive. If you could see the dark corners of hacker-ville where the lurkers are already combing the Windows 7 operating system triple-time for vulnerabilities, you would move fast. The pop-up notification from Windows that says it’s time to upgrade should be taken seriously.
Does this mean that a hacker is going to get right in today? Not necessarily. But, the vulnerabilities are there. The Windows 7 operating system, like every operating system, contains flaws. Hackers find these flaws and exploit them. They do it all the time. That is why Microsoft sends out a steady stream of updates and upgrades for the software it supports.
Since Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows 7 and patching those flaws, users still using the software are vulnerable. The situation is akin to having no anti-virus program on your computer. You have anti-virus for insurance, safety and backup. The anti-virus identifies viruses and catches them, preventing them from coming in. No anti-virus program = no protection. Similarly, no Windows 7 support = no protection.
Reason #2: Perceived Cost
Upgrading to Windows 10 doesn’t have to cost that much. BEFORE beginning the process, each computer should be assessed for it’s capacity to handle the Windows 10 upgrade. This type of analysis does not take long. If computers are under-powered to handle the upgrade, it is possible to put in new hard drives or more RAM. We also have refurbished computers that are a budget friendly option. A few simple upgrades can buy five to six additional years for a computer. And, they run like brand new. I have always been a fan of refurbished computers, they are cheap and they work great.
Reason #3: Proprietary Software that Only Runs on Windows 7
Some businesses have computers that run proprietary software that CAN’T handle the upgrade to Windows 10. This can seem like a tricky problem for business owners. We address this situation in one of two ways. Either, we take these machines off the network altogether, or we isolate them on the network. This way, you can still run older programs but they never see the internet. These machines aren’t going to be regular computers that can be used day to day. They have to stay isolated.
If you are putting off the upgrade to Windows 10, I strongly urge you to call our shop and talk to one of our Computer Heroes today. They can answer your questions and walk you through the upgrade process while being sensitive to your budget and any special situations you have with your particular network.
The only constant in the technology industry is change.