With Windows 11 released and rolling out for millions of users, many will be considering whether they should update their systems now or wait a while – or if they should update at all.
Of course, if you have a managed IT system and support from an IT solutions provider like Geek Guru, they’ll most likely take care of that for you – all you’ll need to do is to familiarise yourself with the new system environment, which will be familiar for veteran Windows users. Microsoft have already announced that support for Windows 10 will cease in 2025, so there’s plenty of time left yet to make the switchover.
With some systems still running on Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, it’s worth reiterating – these old operating systems are no longer supported or receiving security updates or patches of any kind. Even Windows 8.1 is outdated, and is only receiving critical security patches – its support will end entirely in 2023.
Running on an outdated and unsupported operating system is, essentially, an open invitation for hacks, exploits and scams. Many software developers – even Microsoft themselves – are dropping support for their software for users of outdated and insecure systems. It was recently announced that Microsoft Teams will no longer receive updates or support on devices running Android 7 (Nougat, 2016) or below. For reference, the current version of Android is 12, but support will remain for 8.0 (Oreo, 2017) and above. This is because many Android users have to wait for their device manufacturers to tailor and release updates for their devices (which sometimes never appear), and cannot simply install updates like Windows, iOS or MacOS users can.
As we approach the 2021 holiday season, there will no doubt be an uptick in scams and exploits being used, as hackers and fraudsters take advantage of a general public that is eager to get back to a normal festive season after the pandemic restrictions of the past two years.
The best ways to keep yourself and your colleagues, friends and family safe are, as always, to keep your devices updated and to treat any unexpected links, phone calls, messages or emails you receive from anyone (even people you know) as suspicious. Don’t download any files or follow any links unless you know what they are beforehand and are expecting them!