I would be wary if you’re still running Windows 7. While, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” is usually good advice, in the computer security world it doesn’t hold water. Since Windows 7 is an end-of-life product, Microsoft is no longer issuing security updates.
I could care less if Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7. I didn't use their "support" when they offered it.
When I built the two PCs that I have, the current version of Windows 7 Professional at the time (early 2010, as I recall) included Service Pack 1. That's exactly what's on these two machines today - Windows 7 Professional, Service Pack 1. They have never been updated beyond that original installation, and here's why.
In my work here at OGR, I prepared literally every image that appeared in OGR magazine from around 2005 through my retirement in 2018. I worked in Adobe Photoshop literally every day, and prepared tens of thousands of images for print. In doing that work in Photoshop, I developed a certain "rhythm" in the work. I knew, for example, how long it would take Photoshop to change an 8 x 10, 300 dpi image from RGB to CMYK color mode when I pressed the F2 key. (I had set up the F2 key to perform that color conversion action.)
At that time I had Windows 7 set to alert me when updates were available, but not to install them automatically. After I had been using the machine for a couple of months, Windows alerted me that several updates were due. I decided to let Windows go ahead and run the updates.
After the updates had run and the machine had rebooted, I went back to work in Photoshop. I immediately noticed that the machine was slower; everything took just slightly longer to happen. It was one extra "beat" so to speak, in the time it took the computer to do something to an image. On a hunch, I uninstalled all the updates that had just been installed. Presto, everything was back to normal!
After that experience, and with a little research about Windows updates on the net, I am absolutely convinced that Microsoft's "updates" have within them a little bit of code that purposely slows the machine down a tiny bit. It's not much, and a typical light-duty user might not notice it, until a lot of updates have run over a year or two. When they finally do notice that their computer is running slower, what's the fix? Why...buy a new computer, of course! And another copy of Windows is sold.
I built the two PCs that I use (a personal machine and this OGR machine) eleven years ago! In that time I've replaced hard drives with SSDs, added more RAM, and put in better video cards, but I never updated Windows. Some of you may think I'm nuts for running an un-patched, un-updated version of Windows 7, but I have never had any security issues with either machine. And both of the machines work just like they did the first day I used them. How is that possible, you ask?
- I use Mozilla Thunderbird for my email client.
- I have Thunderbird set so it will not display an image in an email unless I let it.
- Thunderbird has an excellent junk mail filter that learns over time, as I tell it what emails are junk. After several years of "training", almost all the junk mail I get goes directly to the trash. I never see it, and certainly don't open it!
- I don't open email attachments from people I don't know, or that I'm not expecting.
- I don't visit suspicious web sites.
- I use the Firefox and Brave browsers, and have them both set to pretty tight security.
- I use Dashlane to securely manage my passwords.
In my opinion, all the security fear mongering from Microsoft and others is vastly overblown.