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Windows 7 and Windows XP operating systems are no longer safe

On 14 January 2020, Microsoft will discontinue support for Windows 7. We recommend users of Microsoft Windows 7, as well as Windows 8, Vista, 2000 and XP to take action quickly.

Why are users of outdated operating systems at risk?

On 14 January 2020, the extended support of Windows 7 wil be discontinued, which means that no new security updates will be provided. Computers still running on Windows 7 will be particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks. Hackers then have free access to PCs still using Windows 7.  Not only home users are at risk, but businesses and public administrations also need to take swift action to avoid falling victim to computer viruses.

How big is the risk?

Fortunately, many Windows users have recently made the switch to Windows 10. This is a good thing, because figures show that users of old systems still get many more viruses.

As many as 96% of virus infections on Windows systems occur on older versions than Windows 10. Especially users of Windows 7, but also users of Windows 8, XP, Vista and 2000 are at great risk. As support for Windows 7 is being discontinued, the risk will only increase.

About 90% of all PCs in Belgium run on a Microsoft operating system, so the discontinuation of Windows 7 support may have an impact on the cyber security of many Belgians.

Switch to a different operating system

Are you still using an outdated version of Windows?  It’s time to make a switch. Windows 10 is safer thanks to Windows Defender and Windows Firewall. What's more, Windows 10 automatically updates your computer. 

There are also other options that have been compared by consumer watchdog Test Aankoop https://www.test-aankoop.be/hightech/computers-en-tablets/dossier/windows7 (in Dutch).

How to know which version of Windows you are using

Click on the Windows icon on the left hand side of the bottom task bar. Type “winver” and click Enter. A window will now display the specifications of your Windows version.