FG Warns against Use of Windows 7 Powered Devices 

Emma Okonji

Following the expiration date of Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System (OS), since January 14, 2020, the federal government has warned Nigerians against the use of all devices powered by Windows 7 operating system.

The warning is to avoid vulnerability that could lead to loss of data and money, when using devices that are powered by the app.

The warning came on the heels of the withdrawal of every support by Microsoft, such as patches and technical support relating to Windows 7. 

With the official End of Support (EoS) of the Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System (OS) which came into effect on 14th January 2020, Microsoft said it would no longer provide technical support and security or software updates for the platform. 

Systems running on Windows 7 OS will continue to work, however they will be progressively more vulnerable to viruses and malware. 

In light of this, the Minster of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, in a statement signed by the Technical Assistant on Government Digital Services and Innovation to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mukhtar Sadiq, at the weekend, while alerting the general public on the risk of using Windows 7 powered devices, said the best way to remain secure was to use the latest Operating Systems available.

According to Pantami, “We are therefore calling on all Windows 7 users to immediately implement some precautionary measures to help to protect themselves from breach of privacy and loss of critical data.” He listed some of the measures to include: keeping security software up to date; keeping all other applications up to date; and being more skeptical on downloads and emails accessed. 

The minister in his effort to propagate the importance of cyber security and to ensure that cyber threats are quickly identified and contained, said he would from time to time alert the general public on important event and measures to ensure that people can feel safe online

As alternative to Windows 7, Microsoft has advised people and organisations to upgrade to the new Windows 10 Enterprise, which is the special edition of Windows 10 included in the SKU. 

“We will generally use the word “subscribe,” although there are still SKUs that include perpetual rights. It is also now possible to purchase the Windows Enterprise edition without paying an annual fee but then only the Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) of the software may be used. Purchasing options and use rights for Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5 are located in the monthly Microsoft Product Terms document,” Microsoft said in a statement.

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