old windows key on keyboard“Windows 7 should not be used for sensitive tasks once it hits end of life tomorrow”, says the NCSC.

Windows 7 should not be used for sensitive tasks, such as banking or email, after the decade-old software hits end of life tomorrow. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the public-facing arm of GCHQ, issued the warning ahead of Microsoft ending extended support
for the ten-year-old operating system on 14 January, meaning Windows 7 will no longer get any security updates and that flaws will go
unpatched and left open for hackers. The NCSC would encourage people to upgrade devices currently running Windows 7, allowing them to
continue receiving software updates which help protect their devices, an NCSC spokesperson told The Telegraph. “We would urge those using the software after the deadline to replace unsupported devices as soon as possible and not to use them for banking and other sensitive tasks”.

The NCSC noted that criminals started targeting Windows XP immediately after extended support ended in 2015, though Microsoft has issued a handful of emergency patches for serious vulnerabilities despite officially ending support.

As of the end of 2019, Windows 7 was still used on 27% of desktops and laptops globally. Just 55% were on the most recent – Windows 10.
Half of small businesses still use Windows 7, despite the significant security risk, despite a high-profile attacks such as WannaCry, which
targeted Windows 7 machines. A tiny slice, just over 2%, remain on Windows XP…

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