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Con­sider sup­port life cycles

It is not just food, but also dig­ital prod­ucts such as pro­grams, apps and devices which have an expiry date. If this is exceeded, updates no longer made avail­able, and any poten­tial vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties remain unre­solved.

Every oper­ating system, pro­gram or app has a life­cycle. This starts when the product is first pub­lished, and ends when a product is no longer sup­ported, i.e. no longer updated.

The so-called sup­port life­cycle decides whether soft­ware is secure or not. Once this ends, any poten­tial vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties are no longer resolved with the help of secu­rity patches. This leaves a product vul­ner­able, and you should replace it with an alter­na­tive one as soon as you can. You should def­i­nitely no longer use any soft­ware once its life­cycle has expired.

For as long as you are aware of the rel­e­vant expiry dates of your prod­ucts, you can then make well-founded deci­sion whether to update, upgrade or replace your soft­ware. Man­u­fac­turers like Microsoft, Apple and Google reg­u­larly pub­lish the dates sup­port for their prod­ucts ends.

Pro­tect your devices and data by reg­u­larly checking how long your oper­ating system, pro­grams and apps are sup­ported for – and make sure you replace obso­lete soft­ware in good time.

Win­dows life­cycle infor­ma­tion sheet

Fur­ther gen­eral infor­ma­tion can be found here.

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