Here we can see, “How to Secure Your Windows 7 PC”
On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will formally discontinue Windows 7, and this widely used operating system will no longer get updates. The ten-year-old operating system will not receive any security or feature updates from Microsoft. Microsoft has been urging users of Windows 7 to upgrade. However, if you wish to keep using Windows 7, this article is for you. There are many reasons why you would wish to stay, but it also implies that the OS is now vulnerable to security threats. With Ransomware in the picture, the lingering threat of an outdated unprotected OS has become much more important. This article will discuss how to safeguard and secure Windows 7 following the End of Suspension.
How many users are still using Windows 7?
Windows 7 users still make up roughly 30% of all users, which is a significant number! If they continue to connect to the Internet, it will be nearly impossible for them to remain secure. This graph explains why Microsoft released Windows 7 Extended Security Updates: they don’t want their customers’ data exposed. Once all, there are risks in sticking with Windows 7 after it has reached its End of Life!
Secure Windows 7 after End of Support
While we suggest updating Windows 10, some individuals or businesses may be hesitant to invest in a new license because it may require a hardware change. It’s also a software upgrade issue for many. It won’t be easy, but you’ll have to upgrade at some point. Here are some measures that a Windows 7 user can do to reduce risk and prevent potential security issues.
- Make use of a regular user account.
- Subscribing to Extended Security Updates is a great way to stay up to
- Invest in a decent Total Internet Security program.
- Change to a different web browser.
- Instead of using the built-in program, use third-party applications.
- Make sure the software you have installed is up to date.
- Use an additional antivirus scanner that is available on demand.
- Tweak the security of Windows 7 to make it more secure.
- Take backups regularly.
- Make use of strong passwords.
- Be cautious with what you download from the Internet and how you use email.
- Display file-extensions
- BitLocker should be enabled.
- Before attaching a USB drive, perform a pre-scan.
- Use a secure DNS server.
- Use a virtual private network (VPN).
- Remove Windows 7 from the network.
Let’s take a closer look at this.
#1 Make use of a regular user account
Admin accounts should never be used. For day-to-day use, you should create and use a Standard User Account. Malware may not be able to modify any system files in this circumstance, making it much safer. If you need to make any adjustments, log into your admin account and make the necessary modifications. Raise the UAC bar to maximum if you wish to remain using the Admin account. For optimal security, you can select “Always notify.”
#2 Subscribing to Extended Security Updates is a great way to stay up to
Microsoft is selling premium subscriptions for Windows 7 Enterprise users. It’s known as Windows 7 Extended Security Updates, and it promises that Microsoft will continue to repair security flaws for the next three years.
The company will have to purchase the bundle every year as it will continue to become more expensive. However, if you’re finally making the switch to Windows 10 and want to spend the next three years testing and training your personnel, this is a great way to go.
- Windows 7 Enterprise costs $25 per user for the first year, $50 for the second, and $100 for the third.
- Windows 7 Professional: Compared to Windows 7 Enterprise, the costs are doubled, i.e., $50, $100, and $200.
The initiative is available to everyone, not just businesses.
Windows Virtual Desktop is another good choice for Windows 7 users. You can move to the cloud version because you will need to upgrade your gear in the future.
You’ll have to pay per user, but you’ll get free Windows 7 Extended Security Updates as well.
#3 Invest in a decent Total Internet Security program
Unlike Windows XP, Microsoft has vowed to upgrade Microsoft Security Essentials’ virus signatures continually. It’s a Microsoft antivirus program that’s available for free. However, it may not be sufficient, and I would advise you to get a whole security solution that still supports Windows 7 users.
A firewall can protect you from attacks that your antivirus software might overlook. Not only that, but it can also keep hackers off of your computer! Because Microsoft will no longer update Windows XP components, the firewall will also be unpatched.
As a result, in addition to antivirus software, you will need to install a decent firewall.
While you can always get some free AntiVirus and Firewall software, I’d propose installing a free yet completely integrated Internet Security Suite that can provide multi-layered security. Some well-paid solutions are Kaspersky, BitDefender, and Malwarebytes.
#4 Change to a different web browser
You might desire a second opinion if you’re unsure about anything. You can utilize these on-demand antivirus scanners on such occasions. Make it a habit to utilize it at least once a week.
#5 Instead of using the built-in program, use third-party applications
To harden security settings, you can also utilize our freeware portable UWT for Windows 7.
XP-AntiSpy is a small program that allows you to disable various built-in features and harden the security of Windows 7.
Another comparable tool is XPY. Check them out and use one of them to disable capabilities such as Remote Desktop quickly. They are compatible with Windows 7.
#6 Make sure the software you have installed is up to date
It would help if you used a different browser, such as Firefox or Chrome. It won’t be easy because the majority of browsers will cease to support Windows 7. You can download the browser and use it, but don’t be surprised if updates cease coming in the future.
#7 Use an additional antivirus scanner that is available on demand
Because Microsoft’s software will no longer receive upgrades, it’s a smart idea to start looking for alternatives. There is already a list for:
- Alternative Media Players
- Windows explorer alternatives
- Email clients.
Here is a comprehensive selection of free Windows software to consider.
#8 Tweak the security of Windows 7 to make it more secure
Your machine will be scanned for installed software by a Software Update Checker. As a result, you will be safe from the software’s flaws. Run their checks regularly, and ensure sure all of your installed software is up to current.
#9 Take backups regularly.
Prepare to be locked out of your computer by a Ransomware or Virus that takes control of all your data if you are connected to the Internet. It will help if you backed up all of your computer data daily. There is a plethora of free backup software available that can backup and recover your data. You can also use Windows 7’s built-in Backup and Restore tool to set a daily backup to external storage.
I would also advise you to make a backup of all the drivers installed on your computer. OEMs will begin removing all Windows 7 drivers from their websites shortly.
#10 Make use of strong passwords
If you are a single user, you may want to disable the password on your user account to save time. This, on the other hand, can allow someone to log in when you aren’t looking and steal your information. Strong passwords are required for safeguarding a Windows PC, whether for the user account or while connecting to the Internet. When you’re going to leave the computer for a bit, don’t forget to lock it. To lock your computer, use Windows Key + L.
#11 Be cautious with what you download from the Internet and how you use email.
It’s a basic cautionary note that you should always be aware of. Please do not click on any download attachments or files you are encouraged to download without first thinking about it.
While you can certainly download attachments that you expect from friends, relatives, and associates, be wary of mail forwards that you may receive from even your pals. In such situations, follow this simple rule: If in doubt, don’t!
#12 Display file-extensions
We said that during the end of support for Windows XP, and we mean it now. It’s a good idea to maintain the option to show file extensions enabled at all times.
When the extensions are visible, it’s easy to see if the file isn’t a standard format like.doc,.pdf, or.txt. It will allow you to see the actual file extensions, making it more difficult for malware to disguise itself and get access to your machine.
#13 BitLocker should be enabled
If you haven’t utilized it before, now is the moment to do so. Bitlocker may encrypt individual partitions on a hard drive or the entire drive, including the boot drive. It will generate a key that you will need to access the data. So could you make a note of it somewhere?
#14 Before attaching a USB drive, perform a pre-scan
A computer can be infected via a USB drive that has been infected. It’s a good idea to limit what USB drives can do when they’re attached. I would always recommend that you scan it with your antivirus software first to ensure that it is free of the most recent threats before accessing the files on it.
#15 Use a secure DNS server
Using OpenDNS or CloudFlare to block your computer from viewing harmful websites is a great idea. You can quickly alter your DNS settings or block pornographic websites. These DNS servers will immediately block sites that serve SPAM or viruses.
#16 Use a virtual private network (VPN)
To remain anonymous on the Internet, use a reliable VPN.
#17 Remove Windows 7 from the network
Keep the system offline if you want to keep it running but don’t want to connect to the Internet. Connect to the Internet only if necessary. If you need to update something, get it from a different computer, scan it, and connect to Windows 7 to install it.
I hope you found this information helpful. Please fill out the form below if you have any queries or comments.
- Is it safe to continue using Windows 7 after 2020?
Yes, after January 14, 2020, you can continue to use Windows 7. However, you should upgrade to Windows 10 before January 14, 2020, since after that date, Microsoft will stop providing technical support, software upgrades, security patches, and other improvements.
- Is Windows 7 still a decent gaming platform?
For gaming, Windows 7 is sufficient, especially if you choose to play older games. On Windows 10, many older games have compatibility concerns. However, some recent games will not run on Windows 7, and support for DirectX 12 is restricted. However, for gaming, Windows 7 is still superior to Windows 8 and 8.1.
- Should I continue to use Windows 7?
Because Windows 7 is no longer supported, you should upgrade as soon as possible… The time to upgrade from Windows 7 has gone, and the operating system is officially considered unsupported. So, unless you want to expose your laptop or PC to bugs, flaws, and cyber-attacks, you should upgrade it as soon as possible.
- Can I stay on Windows 7 forever without upgrading?
- Using Windows 7 Safely After Support Ends?