KSL INVESTIGATES

Gephardt: Users At Risk For Malware, Viruses After Microsoft Ends Windows 7 Support

Feb 18, 2020, 10:24 AM | Updated: 3:33 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Microsoft has officially ended Windows 7 support, a move that could affect people still running the operating system.

Computer viruses have evolved over the years. They can scan users’ hard drives looking for Social Security numbers. They can log people’s keystrokes and steal their passwords. They can log into bank accounts, and they can even shut down a person’s entire machine until the user pays a ransom to get it back.

Now, with Microsoft’s latest announcement, some users could be at a greater risk than ever.

Ten years ago, Microsoft hit the ground running with its latest and greatest operating system, Windows 7. But like most things in the IT world, 10 years is a lifetime.

Last month, Microsoft pulled the plug, and Windows 7 support ended.

When a PC is booted up and waits for updates, that’s Microsoft plugging security holes to keep hackers out. Now, there will be no more security updates or fixes for Windows 7 users.

Computer being scanned

Computer expert and owner of PC Laptops, Dan Young, says it’s important that people who have a computer running Windows 7 take action.

“Everyone is super exposed to viruses and all this malicious stuff,” he said. “There’s constant, constant new malicious stuff being written overseas to try to infiltrate your computer. They see those security holes and, the first opportunity to try to jump in there and get all your stuff.”

PC Laptops technician installs news software on computer

Young’s stores are busy. People who know the news have been flooding in to either update their computers or buy a new one, he says. He says he hopes this story reaches people who have Windows 7, but don’t know they are at risk so they can take action to protect themselves.

A spokesperson for Microsoft said they made the decision to stop supporting Windows 7 to focus on supporting “newer technologies and great new experiences,” and this isn’t the first time the company has dropped a Windows operating system after a decade.

“Microsoft made the decision to cease updating Windows 7 because, as part of our lifecycle support policies, Microsoft made a commitment to provide 10 years of product support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009,” according to the spokesperson.

If you have something you’d like Matt Gephardt to investigate, call 385-707-6153 or email matt@ksl.com.

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Gephardt: Users At Risk For Malware, Viruses After Microsoft Ends Windows 7 Support