Windows 7 Users Warned To Upgrade To Avoid Possible Cyber Attacks

PC users running Windows 7 have been warned to upgrade to avoid possible cyber attacks as support for the software ends.

The 10-year-old operating system will no longer receive critical updates from Tuesday onwards, meaning Microsoft will stop patching any weaknesses that appear, making machines vulnerable to hacker attacks.

According to NetMarketShare estimations for the end of 2019, Windows 7 is still one of the most popular Windows operating systems with a 32.74 per cent global share, second only to Microsoft's most recent version, Windows 10, at 47.65 per cent.

A Windows 7 logo appears on a computer on display at an electronics store. Image: GEtty

GCHQ's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has told the public not to access banking, emails or other services containing sensitive information from devices on Windows 7 due to the high risk.

End of support is a long-running measure by Microsoft, as it shifts from dated technologies and increases focus on newer ones.



Scammers Targeting Credit Card Users With Fake 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' Streams

Dozens of fake streaming sites purport to show the new 'Star Wars' movie, but will steal credit card information instead.

"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 spokesman said.

"We would urge those using the software after the deadline to replace unsupported devices as soon as possible, to move sensitive data to a supported device, and not to use them for tasks like accessing bank and other sensitive accounts.

"They should also consider accessing email from a different device."

Windows 7 users have been warned to upgrade to avoid possible cyber attacks as support for the software ends. Image: Getty

Affected computers will remain functional but will no longer be secure.

Companies which may not be ready for the move can choose to pay Microsoft for extended security updates through to January 2023 - though it is sold on a per-device basis and the price will increase each year, to encourage businesses to upgrade.