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Windows 7 should not be used for internet banking from Tuesday

Windows 7 should not be used for internet banking from Tuesday

The UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has warned people not to use Windows 7 to do internet banking or use e-mails from computers with Windows 7 from Tuesday 14th January.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has stated that devices still using the operating system will be more prone to attacks as Microsoft ceases to patch weaknesses.

Microsoft has previously suggesting purchasing a new PC containing a more recent operating system.

The GCHQ echoes this, advising users to move to Windows 10 or to take alternative precautions, such as transferring their sensitive data to a separate device that is supported.

The NCSC has previously warned of the dangers in continuing to use outdated operating systems, using the example of Windows XP going out of support in 2014.

"It wasn’t long after that before exploitation of the final version of the platform became fairly widespread," a NCSC statement has said.

"Malware can spread much more easily on obsolete platforms because, without security updates, known vulnerabilities will remain un-patched. As a result, it’s crucial to move away from them as quickly as possible."

One notable example of these dangers comes in the WannaCry ransomware attack of May 2017, to which the National Health Service (NHS) fell victim.

With additional cyber risks brought by the increasingly joined-up financial services industry, and far deeper wells of data held by banks and other businesses, the NCSC's warnings should not be taken lightly.


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