A report published by security company Webroot has shown a massive increase in infections on systems running Windows 7.

The mid-year update of the Webroot Threat Platform shows that since 2018 Windows 7 exploits have risen by 71% and that the number of IP hosts have also risen by 75%.

Private systems appeared to be more vulnerable than enterprise machines according to the report.

“Out of all infected PCs, 64% were home user machines, and 36% were business devices, likely because home users aren’t protected by corporate firewalls and security policies and may not be updated as regularly.”

75% of malware was found hidden in the temp, cache, and appdata folders, hidden folders users seldom have any need to access. The folders house among others, cookies, email data, browser data, etc. It is vital that these areas are protected.

Windows 10 systems were less likely to be exploited, according to the report.

“In general, computers using the Windows 7 operating system are twice as likely to become infected as those running Windows 10, with approximately 0.12 infections per Windows 7 device so far in 2019, and 0.05 infections per Windows 10 device,” the report stated.

Windows 7 end of life is approaching fast with 14 January 2020 being the deadline given by Microsoft as end of support. This means that if you are still running a PC with Windows 7 after the deadline it will no longer receive security updates from Microsoft leaving gaping holes where malicious software can take root.

Now is a good time to start thinking about upgrading to Windows 10.

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