If you read our news last week, you know that today is the day that Microsoft puts Internet Explorers 8, 9 and 10 to rest. Microsoft will no longer release security updates for these browsers (unless you're using IE 9 on Vista), which means they'll have increasingly fewer defenses against hackers.
However, today is also the day that Microsoft stops providing security updates for the 3-year-old Windows 8. Before you panic, however, we should be clear that it isn't ending support for Windows 8.1, which is supported through January 10, 2023. So, how do you know if this affects you?
If you aren't sure whether you have Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, go to the Start screen and in the upper-right corner next to your name and picture see if there's a search icon that looks like a magnifying glass. If there is, then it's 8.1, and if not then you have 8.
From the Start screen you can also type the word "Computer" to bring up an automatic search. In the right search result column, find "Computer" or "This PC" and right-click on it (or press and hold on a touch screen) and select "Properties." In the System properties window, look under Windows edition to see if it's Windows 8 or 8.1.
If you're still using Windows 8, you'll need to upgrade immediately to 8.1 or 10. Both options are free.