The countdown is on for Windows Vista users. On April 11th 2017, Microsoft will cease all support and security patching, just as they have with previous Windows versions. Naturally, you’re rather attached to your current operating system and not exactly leaping for joy at this news! Note that Vista will continue to work after April 11th, but every day you use it puts your system at increasingly higher levels of risk.
Security risks: Unfortunately, the longer your computer goes without an upgrade, the higher the chance of a complete system breach. While you’re watching the count-down and thinking about scheduling an upgrade sometime soon, cyber-criminals are making plans of their own. As time progresses, they’ll actively target out-of-date systems and search for vulnerabilities.
While Microsoft may have patched the gaps exploited during the Vista lifetime, there are many more just waiting to be discovered. It gets worse: your antivirus program is unlikely to intercept these attacks, and many antivirus programs no longer work on Windows Vista. Hackers are extremely fast to exploit newly-discovered vulnerabilities and without Microsoft working just as fast to close them, the risk increases exponentially every time you turn the computer on.
Compliance risks: For business users, this is a big one. Many businesses are subject to conditions that require them to run an operating system that’s regularly patched. For those working with sensitive, legal or private data, this is even more important. Continuing to use an unsupported operating system places not just the system security at risk, but also the entire business.
Software incompatibility: New applications are created exclusively for current operating systems. This means you can’t upgrade past the software you now have, and will soon be phased out of new updates and options across all application types. In addition to software incompatibility you will encounter more websites that warn you about not supporting the web browser you’re using, such as Internet Explorer 8. Even Google Chrome won’t help as current versions do not run on Vista. This is especially problematic when you are attempting to access secure websites such as banks or online shopping.
No support: Vista mainstream support was stopped back in 2012 but there were always avenues if you were really stuck with something. Even sympathetic support staff at Microsoft’s help desk were willing to bend the rules, but as of April 11th, that all stops. The only support available will be outdated pieces you can locate with web searches.
What Should I Do?
The solution is quite simple: replace your Windows Vista computers well before the April 11th deadline. Upgrading a Windows Vista era computer to run Windows 10 would not be a good investment as most computers running Vista were built and sold over 8 years ago. Computers from that era lack hardware support for Windows 10 and making even the minimal hardware upgrades will cost more than you will recoup. With new computers starting at just $499, don’t you think it’s time to upgrade?
Give us a call at 715-255-0325 and let us get you upgraded today!
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