What the Deadline Means for Security
(OnFocus) Users of Windows 7 will no longer receive extended support from Microsoft starting January 14, meaning the company will no longer provide updates and patches.
“As a result of support ending, any future security breaches or vulnerabilities will not be fixed,” said Jason Miller, owner of Northside Computers. “There are all kinds of unknown issues with any software, and as soon as an issue or security hole is discovered, typically the vendor — in this case Microsoft — would work to fix the issue and then release a patch, or an update.”
Mainstream support ended for Windows 7 in 2015, but extended support was scheduled to last another five years. During this extended period there would be no new features, but the company would still provide bug fixes.
Any computer running Windows 7 after support ends will be vulnerable to future hacks and breaches.
“Most reputable websites will no longer allow Windows 7 to browse their sites, as you’re a security risk to them,” said Miller. “This would especially include any site that does uses an encrypted connection, such as a bank, or online shopping, or anything that has a password. Even non-encrypted websites don’t want to risk damage to their websites from a hacker, so they’ll just not allow those machines access.”
To protect themselves, consumers can upgrade to Windows 10. This may require additional memory or upgrades to be able to run the newer operating system, or a new computer altogether. However, the computer running Windows 7 will still be able to run.
“Older Windows 7 machines will still turn on, but shouldn’t be connected to the internet after January 14,” said Miller.