I have a 2008 Dell Inspiron 1520 laptop with Vista. I am just concerned that I may have a security issue with it being so old.
Should I upgrade, and if so, what should I upgrade to?
You should upgrade it. Now, which OS you should upgrade to, is up to you. As pointed before, Windows 7 should work fine in your laptop. Otherwise, you may try Linux
If your Laptop was bought in 2008. then it will surely support Windows 7 . Try using . if anything problem persists , back to Old OS or Switch to Linux ..
Ss long as Microsoft continue to support it (until 2017) Vista should remain secure and you don't need to replace it (usability is another matter, but that's your call...). However, it is important that you install all Windows updates, and all security updates of applications (esp. web browsers) and other software such as Java and Flash.
You should always upgrade your system.I recommend switching to win7,or if you like you can put the lastest linux mint on that laptop... I had it on my dell 3521 and it worked perfectly.. When installing win7 + avira (backed with malwarebytes ) you actually get all the security youll need.And also,make sure to regulary update your system.Good luck.
i Think The end of support for Vista SP2 was April 10, 2012. it is always good to have the latest version of Windows, for speed then windows 8 is a good choice.
Upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows Vista or Windows XP
To upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows Vista or Windows XP, you'll need to install it from a Windows 8.1 DVD and perform a clean installation. This means you won't be able to keep any files, settings, or programs when you upgrade.
How to Upgrade from Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, or XP to Windows 8 or 8.1
The date you have listed is for the end of mainstream support (security fixes and feature updates) for Vista SP2. Extended support (security fixes) continues until April 11, 2017.
correct thank you for the clarification
If you don't have performance issues running Vista on the machine, you should upgrade to ANY of the later Windows operating systems. Personally, I would have upgraded to Windows 7 a long time ago on that machine simply for the performance boost you would see.
Extended support runs until 4/11/2017 for Vista SP2 (all earlier versions are not technically supported any longer) so as long as you keep applying the security updates required for your configuration as they are issued, you should be good on that front and using security issues as the single most important detminant for an upgrade isn't really valid.
If you've been doing Windows Update and you have anti virus installed, you should be fine security wise. Upgrading to Windows 8 will probably give you a performance boost.
You should have been doing Windows Upgrades all along to maintain whatever security Windows provides.
You should upgrade both your hardware and your software. To what, that depends on the size of your wallet.