Microsoft ends support for Windows 7, Server 2008, and 2008 R2.
Microsoft is ending support for Windows 7, as of today, which means users will no longer receive technical and security updates, including bug fixes.
This major change affects hundreds of millions of people.
Our Woongtae Ryu breaks down in plain terms what you should do if you are running the now obsolete operating system on your PC.
Windows 7 has reached its end of life.
After over 10 years of service, Microsoft is no longer providing support for the mainstream operating system that's estimated to be on over one-third of all PCs.
Users have been told this day would come, but some may still be wondering if it's okay to stick to Windows 7.
There should be no problem running the system but security will be an issue.
Three years ago, the infamous WannaCry cyberattack exploited over 300,000 computers in 150 countries, mostly targeting old Windows systems without security updates.
Let's suppose that at home you have an old desktop PC with Windows 7 and two laptops with other operating systems hooked into the same network. What could happen?
I spoke to Kim Myuhng-joo, a professor of information security at Seoul Women's University, about this type of scenario and he warned it was only a matter of time before cyberattacks, viruses and phishing scams hit.
[Clip: Kim: 00:31]
"We believe there is a high risk of cyberattacks immediately following today's end of support. Microsoft's recommendation is that it's best to migrate to Windows 10. If that's not an option, installing reputable anti-virus software would be the only line of temporary defense."
Of course, a more long-term solution is recommended.
One option is to install Windows 10 on your current device, which could be eligible for a free upgrade if your Windows 7 is genuine.
If your current PC is too old and outdated to run Windows 10, another option is to buy a new one with the latest system.
Microsoft Korea has been running a trade-in campaign that offers credits for a new purchase.
Students may also be able to take advantage of offers through their schools to get the Windows 10 Education edition for free.
If all the reminders and warnings aren't enough encouragement to switch, or if letting go of a Windows 7 PC isn't a clear option, take necessary precautions and consider pulling the network cable out of your computer and using it as a stand-alone machine, offline only.
But remember this important rule of thumb -- don't forget to back up important files to another device whether you plan to stay pat or migrate to a new operating system.
Woongtae Ryu, eFM News.■
<Photo: Yonhap News>
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