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Here is Tip #16 for National Cybersecurity Awarenss Month: Ditch antiquated software and hardware.

As companies roll out new versions of software, hardware and devices, they eventually stop providing support for old versions. That means they will stop making updates — such a security patches — on those products.

Some manufacturers are very transparent about their support plans and proactively communicate with customers. A good example of this is the Microsoft Windows 10 Operating System. Their website says they will provide upgrades for five years and basic maintenance support for 10 years. This means that you will want to start planning for that upgrade before the end of support on October 14, 2025.

But not all manufacturers are as transparent as Microsoft, so you can’t rely on them and, instead, set up a system to keep yourself informed.

Steps you can take

Here are tips on how you can keep informed about the end of support for a particular device, application or operating system:

Check with the manufacturer: A search for the manufacturer, including the words “security advisory” should point you to results containing the manufacturer’s website where they maintain a list of announced security and functionality updates to fix discovered vulnerabilities.

Subscribe to newsletters: Most of these websites also contain areas where you can sign up for alerts. To make sure the alerts don’t get lost in your inbox, you should create a location within your email (such as a separate folder) and create a rule to place notifications from these services into a special area so you can refer to them whenever possible.

Periodically search for end of support: Set a recurring time on your calendar to periodically conduct searches that include the manufacturer, the product and the words “end of support.” This will provide a date that the product is determined to end support.

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