Warning to stop online banking if device uses Windows 7
The British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has warned people not to do internet banking or use emails from computers with Windows 7 from tomorrow, when Microsoft will end support for the software.
Last week in Ireland, the HSE revealed it will have to spend €1.1m on IT support fees to Microsoft this year after failing to heed warnings to update its operating systems to Windows 10.
Now the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the public-facing arm of the cyber spy agency, said that devices still using Windows 7 will become increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks as the tech giant stops patching weaknesses in its product.
Microsoft announced last year that it would be ceasing technical support for Windows 7 and urged users to upgrade to its Windows 10 system.
Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.
It is estimated that there are still more than 440 million people worldwide using Windows 7, which was first released in 2009.
A spokesperson for the NCSC said: "The NCSC would encourage people to upgrade devices currently running Windows 7, allowing them to continue receiving software updates which help protect their devices.
"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."
Among the risks users run are having their computers infected with malware, which can steal sensitive details such as financial and banking information from their device. (© Daily Telegraph, London)