If you want to continue receiving Windows updates, then the next Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 update is critical as it adds support for SHA-2 encryption. Without it, future updates can’t be downloaded.
The date to prepare for is March 12, which is when Microsoft rolls out the Stand Alone update for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. Just leave your desktop or laptop turned on and let Windows Update do its things.
After that, you’ll be in a position to receive all remaining updates until next year. It’s also a chance to grab a few extra months to decide on which upgrade path to take. Do you want a new Windows 10 PC, are you considering a switch to Mac, or is Linux a possibility?