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Just Business: Protect yourself by upgrading Windows

As you make your summer plans, be sure to schedule an important deadline for your business: July 29. Why? Microsoft is offering a free upgrade to Windows 10 through that date. This comes in conjunction with Microsoft ending mainstream support for Windows 7 in January. While Windows 7 will continue to receive security updates until 2020, older versions of Internet Explorer (below Internet Explorer 11) will not.

You might think these upgrades aren’t important, but think again. These updates provide improved security as well as better performance and support for additional websites and software. According to Microsoft, security updates help to keep your computer and data safer by patching any vulnerabilities that malware may exploit. In addition, regular security updates can protect computers from harmful attacks as well as help provide the user with a faster and more secure browsing experience.

If you don’t take advantage of critical browser security updates, you are allowing your computer to be vulnerable to harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, which can steal or damage your business data and personal information.

Microsoft says there are other reasons to consider an upgrade. One is compliance, as those businesses that are governed by regulatory obligations such as HIPAA should conduct due diligence to assess whether they are still able to satisfy compliance requirements using unsupported software. Additionally, many Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) no longer support older versions of Internet Explorer. For example, Office 365 takes advantage of modern web standards and runs best with the latest browser versions.

Through July 29, Windows 10 is available as a free upgrade for compatible devices courtesy of Microsoft. This free upgrade includes a full version of Windows and applies to compatible devices running genuine Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or Windows 8.1 Update. It is important to note that not every device eligible for the free upgrade will run every feature. Also, devices running Windows XP, Windows Vista or Enterprise editions of Windows do not qualify for the free upgrade offer.

It’s easy to sign up for the Windows 10 upgrade. You can either visit the Get Windows 10 app on your PC, or go to Microsoft.com for help with signing up for the upgrade. According to Microsoft, all eligible PCs should upgrade to Windows 10 to be protected by the most up-to-date security protocols.

 

This column was compiled by Karen Robertson, Director of Public Relations and Client Development at Robertson & Markowitz Advertising & Public Relations, Inc., a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations firm, with Robmark Web providing website design, development and SEO. She can be reached at karen@robmark.com or (912) 921-1040. 

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