Microsoft has discontinued supporting Windows 7 systems with effect from January 2020. For many users, this decision was disheartening, as Windows 7 was one of the most common operating systems, and used by millions.
Despite Microsoft releasing Windows 8 and Windows 10 after its release, Windows 7 ‘s popularity never diminished. After the Windows Vista debacle, it provided users with a modern interface to their program, and lifted Microsoft.
Many claim this decision as Microsoft’s strategic move so that more and more users are entering the latest edition of Windows- Windows 10. Since Microsoft spends most of its money on Windows 10 building and upgrading, it is obvious that they want maximum users on Windows 10 rather than any other operating system.
Now that its service is wrapped up it doesn’t mean you can’t use Windows 7 at all on your laptop. Don’t worry if your machine runs on Windows 7, it isn’t going to be dead. Well, at least, starting now. But because the service is stopped, this means no new updates will be made, which also means no updated security patches.
Many people are still using Windows 7, for various reasons. Many of them are doing their important tasks which involve the internet as well. These users are most vulnerable to online attacks since there are no latest security patches available on Windows 7.
If you’re one of those users who still use your laptop or PC’s Windows 7 operating system, here are some useful tips for protecting it from external threats.
1. Secure your System with Security Solutions
Because the Windows 7 update is now off, the built-in protection system is obsolete and unable to identify the current security threats. So, for the harmful malware to attack your system. It is vital that your device is protected with a proper antimalware solution that can protect it from malicious activities.
If you bring any important files on your Windows 7 device, then it is not enough just to get an antivirus program because there is still a danger of ransomware attacks. So equipped your system with antimalware which also saves you from attacks by ransomware, or you can have a robust anti-ransomware installed to protect your files extra.
2. Using a stable Internet browser
Using an unreliable browser on Windows 7 to search the internet is like inviting malware programs on your machine to part with. Clearly this is not what you want. And it’s recommended not to use the dangerous web browsers on your Windows 7 computers like the Internet Explorer. Instead, you can go for browsers that have committed a few more months to supporting the Windows 7 operating system.
Google Chrome has expanded its Windows service to 7 users until July 15, 2021.
Likewise, the latest Microsoft Chromium-based Edge browser for Windows 7 will still be available until July 2021.
Mozilla Firefox is also available for Windows 7 at the moment, but as long as they can support it, it is not clear.
3. Disable Useless and Bloatware Services
Bloatware is a program that comes pre-installed on your PC or laptop. Besides, there may be a lot of third-party applications built on your Windows 7 device, many of them from unknown sources. Since Windows 7 is no longer supported, eliminating the bloatware and useless apps is better.
Uninstalling this will lower the risk of external threats and breaches of security. This will also free up a certain amount of hard disk space. It is also recommended that the applications needed be updated regularly before the updates are available
4. Get a service on VPN
If you need to use the internet while working on Windows 7 then get a good Virtual Private Network Service (VPN) instead of browsing directly. VPN would protect your identity and privacy online whilst browsing the internet.
A successful VPN will conceal your personal information such as IP addresses, surfing activity and geolocation. It would also encrypt your files while they are being exchanged on the internet.
By good VPN, we meant the paid ones that offer greater reliability and protection. Most of the Free ones are adware.
5. Get a Password Manager
Because the OS in your system is outdated, you can’t just rely on and reuse old passwords. Get a good password manager to help you create a unique and powerful password for your device. You can also save password for your other accounts, such as Gmail, Facebook , Instagram and many more.
6. Disconnect your Network Device
Since Windows 10 is an advanced Windows 7 version, all programs running on Windows 7 must run on Windows 10, too. There are however some games and hardware-specific software that only run on Windows 7. This is one of the main reasons users don’t switch to Windows 10, either.
If you are one of those users, then your Windows 7 system should be cut off from the internet network. Since the internet is the largest gateway to dangerous, malicious programs like Trojan, Ransomware, Spyware, and others, it’s better to keep away from your vulnerable network. Disconnect your USB ports when possible, too.
7. Teach yourself about Malware Attacks
Malware attacks are on a periodic rise. Cyber criminals are becoming ever more sophisticated and developing to infringe even the protected networks. It’s good but not enough to get a complete security solution for your system. If you don’t know the attacking techniques that cybercriminals use properly, you won’t be able to save your system any longer; it doesn’t matter whether it’s Windows 7 or Windows 10. So please educate yourself on what are the various malware programs, how they get an entry on the system, what tricks cybercriminals use to trick users into installing the malware, how to identify an unsafe or fraudster website and program.
So, these are the few tips for protecting your Windows 7 devices. However, it is advisable to switch to Windows 10 as soon as possible because work on an outdated system is always a risky task regardless of how many security measures it takes.