Windows users who are using older versions of the software could be putting themselves at risk.

That’s the news from the latest report from security firm Avast, who say that more than half of PC applications installed worldwide are out-of-date.

In fact, Avast’s PC Trends Report 2019 found that users are making themselves vulnerable to hackers by not implementing security patches and keeping outdated versions of popular applications on their PCs.

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Along with applications being not being kept updated, the report also found that many Microsoft users aren’t keeping on top of upgrades to their Windows operating systems.

According to Avast, almost one in six of all Windows 7 users and one in ten of all Windows 10 users worldwide are running older and no longer supported versions of their product.

Speaking about the report,  Ondrej Vlcek, President, Avast said: “Most of us replace our smartphone regularly, but the same cannot be said for our PCs.

“With the average age of a PC now reaching six years old, we need to be doing more to ensure our devices are not putting us at unnecessary risk.

“With the right amount of care, such as cleaning our hardware’s insides using cleaners, optimisation and security products, PCs will be safe and reliable for even longer.

The applications where updates are most frequently neglected include Adobe Shockwave (96%), VLC Media Player (94%) and Skype (94%).

The report, which uses anonymised and aggregated data from 163 million devices across the globe, also found that Windows 10 is now installed on 40 per cent of all PCs globally, which is fast approaching the 43 per cent share held by Windows 7.

This news comes as Microsoft has just announced an update on its Windows Phone products.

The US company has just confirmed that it won’t be supporting the platform from the end of the year meaning those owning a Windows-powered phone will no longer receive security updates or new features.

In post on its blog, Microsoft confirmed: “As of December 10, 2019, Windows 10 Mobile users are no longer eligible to receive new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free assisted support options, or online technical content updates from Microsoft for free.

“Third parties or paid support programs may provide ongoing support, but it is important to recognise that Microsoft support will not publicly provide updates or patches for Windows 10 Mobile.”

With Microsoft now ditching all updates for good there’s good news for Android and Apple as the Redmond firm is recommending users switch to these platforms.

“With the Windows 10 Mobile OS end of support, we recommend that customers move to a supported Android or iOS device,” Microsoft said.



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