Windows 7 users are going to have to upgrade their operating system early next year

Microsoft will stop supporting the Windows 7 operating system on 14 January 2020. Although you can still use a computer which runs the Windows 7 operating system, the Information System Authority (RIA) recommends replacing your software as soon as possible. Among other issues, the DigiDoc software might not run on your computer after the support is stopped.

‘The loss of Microsoft support means that Windows 7 will no longer be updated or patched, and critical vulnerabilities will remain unfixed. In the future, users with outdated software will be vulnerable to attacks through security holes that will no longer be patched, come mid-January. The software will become less secure with each passing day, as new weaknesses are discovered and the already identified security holes persist,’ said Margus Arm, Head of the Electronic Identity Department at RIA.

In his estimation, criminals might start exploiting the vulnerabilities as early as a few weeks or months after the updates stop. ‘Figuratively speaking, your computer’s door will slowly open, and criminals will eventually have the opportunity to steal people’s personal and credit card data, or gain access to all of the content of the computer,’ said Arm.

Discontinuing Windows 7 support also means that other providers will stop supporting their programs on the Windows 7 version and there is no guarantee that they will continue to run smoothly and securely. One of these is the ID software DigiDoc4. ‘This means, for example, that you may no longer be able to give digital signatures or encrypt a document with Windows 7. To ensure the proper functioning of any program, you should always use the most recent versions,’ said Arm.

The DigiDoc software runs on the operating systems Windows 8.1 and 10, MacOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. The DigiDoc software is used on about 600,000 computers and nearly 15% of users have installed it on a computer that still runs Windows 7.

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