OUCH! is the world’s leading, free security awareness newsletter designed for the common computer user. Published every month and in multiple languages, each edition is carefully researched and developed by the SANS Securing The Human team, SANS instructor subject matter experts and team members of the community. Each issue focuses on and explains a specific topic and actionable steps people can take to protect themselves, their family and their organization. OUCH! is distributed under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. You are free to distribute OUCH! within your organization or to your customers as part of your security awareness program, or share OUCH! with your family, friends and coworkers. The only limitation is you cannot modify nor sell OUCH!.
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Support for Windows 7 has ended.
Microsoft Windows 7 – launched in 2009 – came to the end of its supported life on Tuesday. Despite Microsoft’s repeated warnings to Windows 7 users, there may still be a couple of hundred million users, many of them in businesses. What should people do next?
To begin with, Windows 7 will not stop working, it will just stop receiving security updates. Users will therefore be more vulnerable to malware attacks, particularly from “ransomware”. We saw how dangerous that can be when WannaCry took over unpatched PCs in the NHS and other places. It was so bad that Microsoft released a patch for XP, even though it was out of support.
There are reasons to be fearful, because of the way the malware industry works.
When you leave your home during the day, do you post a note on the front door saying how long you’ll be gone and where to find the spare key? Of course not, yet many do effectively the same thing with Facebook posts and automated e-mail replies. If you’re going on a trip or will be away from your home for a short period, don’t broadcast every detail, for there may be unscrupulous individuals who could take advantage of your absence.
For example, if you leave your home for a day trip, don’t announce it on Facebook! Wait until you return home that evening to post a picture or update. Likewise, if leaving an automated e-mail reply, don’t provide specific details about being away and/or a date by when you’ll respond. Instead, use generic language such as “Thank you for your e-mail, I will get back to you soon.” What’s even better is you can skip the automatic e-mail reply if you can retrieve and respond to your e-mail from your smartphone or tablet. No one needs to know that you are away. These are just a few of the many simple steps you can take to avoid becoming a target of burglars and other unscrupulous individuals.