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Despite support for it ending last year, a portion of South African PC users are still running Windows 7 OS on their devices, according to Kaspersky.
That’s the finding of a new study published by the cybersecurity company on 4 May.
The study set out to see what OS South African consumers and businesses are running on their computers.
The use of older OS may open users up to cyberattacks as they no longer receive critical security updates, the company notes.
What did the Kaspersky study show about Windows 7 usage?
According to Kaspersky’s study, Windows 7 is still being used by South African consumers, small and medium businesses (SMBs) and very small businesses (VSBs).
The study showed that 14% of PC users are still running Windows 7. This is despite the fact that Microsoft stopped providing support for the OS in January 2020.
“Updating your operating system might seem like a nuisance for many,” Kaspersky’s senior product marketing manager, Oleg Gorobets, wrote in a post.
“But OS updates are not just there just to fix errors, or to enable the newest interface. The procedure introduces fixes for those bugs that can open a gaping door for cybercriminals to enter.”
At the same time, less than 1% of South Africans use an even older OS such as Windows XP and Vista. Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP in 2014 and Windows Vista in 2017.
The study also found that 12% of VSBs in South Africa use an outdated OS. This is concerning as they usually would not have dedicated IT services to combat security problems.
Luckily, 79% of Windows users are running Windows 10.
Kaspersky advised users should upgrade to an up-to-date OS and make sure auto-updates are enabled.
“It makes more sense to find a new home, sooner rather than later,” Gorobets wrote.
“The same attitude is needed when it comes to ensuring the security of the operating system you trust with your valuable data every day.”
It also said if an upgrade is not possible, users should consider the security threats and install programs that embed security into their systems.
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