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Windows 7 has become dangerous to use
January 14, 2020 was Doomsday for Windows 7: namely the day on which its support with security updates ended. Microsoft has terminated this support once and for all. Windows 7 is dead; only off-line use of Windows 7 will remain safe.
Strangely, like happened with Windows XP, some antivirus companies will probably still continue to supply new updates for antivirus applications for Windows 7. It's like a hardware store that says: the government won't repair the dikes anymore, but we'll continue to sell buckets and rubber boots....
It's extremely important that you're not running Windows 7 anymore, now that its support has ended. At least not when you're connected to the internet. It's highly likely that criminals will infect your computer with malicious software. Aimed specifically at weaknesses in Windows 7.
It's the ideal moment for launching such attacks: it's a sitting duck, because its security flaws will never be repaired!
Antivirus software and other malware protection by third parties, are only able to provide a partial defense against this onslaught. Because the source code of Windows 7 is closed, so that other companies have insufficient possibilities to provide patches themselves.
Don't wait for trouble, but take action now!
In short, this is your best option: switch quickly to an easy and free (no cost) Linux.
Explanation: you have roughly three options:
Option 1. You install a user-friendly free (no cost) Linux, that does get security updates.
- This will cost you two hours, for installing and tweaking/tuning.
- You have to get used to Linux (which in the case of Linux Mint Xfce, is a small thing: it's pretty straightforward and looks a lot like Windows 7).
Option 2. You install a legal copy of Windows 10 on the old Windows 7 machine.
- Windows 10 has considerably higher system requirements than Windows 7. Therefore your computer might become a lot slower.
- The user interface of Windows 10 is radically different from Windows 7. This takes getting used to.
Option 3. You buy a new computer with a pre-installed Windows 10, and you do away with the Windows 7 machine in an environmentally responsible manner.
- You have to pay a lot of money.
- You have to get used to Windows 10.
So option 1 is the most attractive one for a lean purse. Apart from that: it's a nice chance to get to know Linux for a bit!
And what's more: what have you got to lose by trying Linux? If you can't get used to Linux, you can always simply go to a store and buy that new Windows 10 machine, after all....
OK, but which Linux?
Windows 7 machines are of course elderly. That limits the choice, because the system requirements of most Linux varieties have increased over time.
The best choice is probably the lightweight Linux Mint 20 Xfce, which will receive security updates until May, 2025. It's complete out of the box and has a menu that resembles Windows 7.
Note: burning the iso file on a disk, must be done in a special way.
Your Microsoft Office may have died as well
Support with security updates might also have ended for your copy of Microsoft Office. Check that regularly! In case it has ended, you'll have to buy a copy of a newer version of Microsoft Office, which still receives security updates.
Or you can download a free copy of the excellent Libre Office, which is a complete and fine replacement for Microsoft Office. Libre Office is available for both Windows and Linux. In Linux, Libre Office is usually present by default (like it is in Linux Mint Xfce).
Take action now
Finally: don't wait, but take action now!
Install Linux alongside Windows 7 (dual boot), so that you can always choose what operating system to boot.
That way, you'll still be able to use Windows 7, albeit offline. That prevents loss of productivity, tensions and irritations. For all online tasks you can then use your new secure Linux.
Want more tips?
Do you want more tips and tweaks? There's a lot more of them on this website!
Firefox: improve it
Chrome: tweak it
Libre Office: tune it
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