If you are still using Windows 8 (why?!?!?), it’s time to upgrade to either Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 (the better choice) as Microsoft has ended support for it. You can upgrade to Windows 8.1 for free and its a nice upgrade from the misery that is Windows 8 or if you want something even better, upgrade to 8.1 and then upgrade to Windows 10 which is also a free upgrade until July 29th, 2016!
So why is it time to upgrade since upgrades in the past have always been a bit of a pain in the butt? The reason its time to upgrade is because Microsoft has killed support for Windows 8 which means it won’t be getting any more patches for security problems should they arise (and they will). By not upgrading to a more recent operating system like Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 that has continued support (January 10, 2023 for 8.1 and I’m not sure about Windows 10), you are leaving yourself vulnerable to hackers that will exploit whatever unpatched vulnerabilities they find.
With Microsoft not patching future vulnerabilities, Windows 8 becomes an extremely enticing target for hackers who know they will be able to attack a computer using it with ease.
This same urgent need to upgrade also goes for anybody who is still using Internet Explorer versions 8, 9 and 10 and for the same reasons. Upgrading IE is simple since its just done with Windows Update and you don’t have to worry about potential upgrade nightmares that can accompany a major operating system upgrade. With it being distributed with your normal Windows Updates, you might already have a more recent version but its a good idea to double check because those three browsers still account for approximately 20% of the global web browser marketshare (9% for IE 8, 6.7% for IE 9, and 4.2% for IE 10). You should have Internet Explorer 11 installed although if you are on Windows 10, there is a good chance you are using Edge instead of Internet Explorer since they bury IE pretty well to make it harder to find and less likely for you to use. Of course I will always recommend the use of a 3rd party browser like Opera, Firefox or Chrome over using any Microsoft web browser, especially Edge which in my experience is still half baked and not reliable. However, even if you use a 3rd party browser, you still need to make sure you are upgraded to the latest version of IE.
If you need to upgrade your operating system from Windows 8 to 8.1, here is a handy tutorial from Microsoft to help you. And for those that want to make the recommended jump to Windows 10, check out this page from Microsoft. One minor bit of advice for upgrading to Windows 10, make sure to have your password and settings for things like wifi and printers handy because I found on some upgrades, those settings get lost and you have to re-enter all your wifi network passwords and install printers again.
Finally, if you don’t want to have to worry about keeping things like Internet Explorer or Windows up to date, we can handle that for you as part of the Weekly Maintenance package we offer so you never have to worry about running old, insecure software.