Yes, you can continue to run antivirus and other security products on Windows 7 as long as the vendors continue to support them, but these products are never perfect, and if a hacker finds a security hole in the Windows 7 operating system itself, products layered on top will not help you.
So, what should you do? There are several options:
- Do nothing and take the risk
- Upgrade to Windows 10.
- For a Windows 7 Home user, that will cost you about $120.00 for Windows 10 Home.
- For a Windows 7 Pro user, the cost will be about $200.00, including if you want to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro from Windows 7 Home.
- Buy a new computer
Microsoft has announced a program called Windows 7 Extended Security Updates to continue to provide security updates for up to three years from the January 14thdate, but this program is for customers with volume licensing agreements, so in all probability, will not be an option for you. Even if it does become an option, it is only applicable to Windows 7 Pro systems at the following cost:
- For 2020, $50 per device
- For 2021, $100 per device
- For 2022, $200 per device
My recommendation is that you either upgrade to Windows 10 or if your computer is five or more years old, consider purchasing a new computer prior to the January 14th date. With all the clever hackers in the world, staying with Windows 7 after January 14 is definitely a bad idea.