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Don’t Turn Off Security Updates To Avoid Windows 10 Upgrade

By June 10, 2016March 2nd, 2023Blog, Cybersecurity

dont_turn_off_security_updates_to_windows_10In recent months, Microsoft has made a number of very good, highly popular moves that have had its customers raving about its apparent change. This latest incident, however, isn’t one of those. Microsoft has been accused of resorting to malware-style tactics to try and force Windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade to Windows 10, by inserting the OS upgrade in with the critical security patches. About the only way to avoid the upgrade is to disable auto-updating for critical updates, which comes with a pretty heavy price. Doing so leaves you vulnerable to security flaws in the software that are exploited by hackers.

Both Windows 7 and 8 still enjoy a fairly robust installed base, and some people have perfectly legitimate reasons for wanting to stay with the older OS they’re running. This move was greeted with an understandable measure of hostility by that installed base, many of whom have outright said that they’re disabling their auto-updates.

Unfortunately, this is not a real solution. The dangers you open yourself up to by doing this could put your entire company at risk. One disgruntled user found an innovative way around it, though. She simply installed hardware on the system using the old OS that wasn’t Windows 10 compatible.

Of course the best answer is to get into a position where you can upgrade, but if that’s not possible in the near term, then the outdated hardware solution is a better response, by far, than disabling the updates that keep the hackers from your door.

The anger and hostility toward Microsoft in this instance is completely understandable, but the response is rather akin to cutting one’s own nose off. It’s just not smart policy. If you’ve still got machines running Windows 7 and 8 in your company, be on guard against stealthy attempts by Microsoft to force an upgrade. If you would like to evaluate the potential for upgrading, or would like to figure out the best way to protect your systems while staying on Windows 7 or 8, give our team a call and we will help.

Chris Forte

Chris Forte, President and CEO of Olmec Systems, has been in the MSP workspace for the past 25 years. Chris earned his Master’s Degree from West Virginia University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He was a past member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a current member of the New Jersey Power Partners and Executive Association of New Jersey, where he has previously served on its board of directors. In his spare time, Chris enjoys traveling with his family. He also admits to being a struggling golfer and avid watcher of college football and basketball. He currently lives in Boonton Township, NJ with his wife, two daughters, son, and black lab Luna.