10 Common Tech Myths Debunked
The evolution of technology is a wonderful thing!
Just compare traditional film photography to modern days where we now have the flexibility of manipulating bits, bytes and pixels in Photoshop to enhance and create masterpieces.
Remember going down to the local video store to hire a movie to watch later that night? And needing to rewind it when you were finished? Now we can simply open up Netflix, iTunes or countless other streaming services and find something to watch at the touch of a button.
So, methods and systems have changed. Humanity are shifting their behaviours to adopt these new technologies to ultimately make their busy lives easier with conveniences.
The tools we use have changed but some preconceptions have remained. I’d like to present to you the most common fears and myths, particularly the ones that I think are a bit funny and ones that are still perpetuated by those behind the times.
1. Macs don’t get Viruses
Yes, they do! If you don’t believe me look up “Flashback Trojan” for instance. In fact, MAC OS has many high-risk vulnerabilities than the Windows operating systems.
2. A camera with more megapixels is better
False. Megapixels have extremely little to do with digital photo quality, only digital photo size. The quality of a digital camera photo is determined by a camera’s ISO sensor type and size, its processor and its optics. The only impact the number of megapixels makes is in the quality of a zoomed-in image snapped by a smartphone.
3. Private/Incognito browsing keeps you anonymous
There’s a misconception that ‘incognito’ and ‘private’ are synonymous with anonymous. If you’re using Incognito Mode in Google Chrome or Private browsing in Safari, it simply means the browser won’t keep track of your history, import your bookmarks, or automatically log into any of your accounts. It won’t keep your identity anonymous – so keep that in mind if you’re visiting sites you shouldn’t be.
Bonus tip – you are never truly anonymous on the internet. To achieve something close to browsing anonymously, there are many hoops to jump through and careful procedures to follow.
4. Leaving your phone unplugged in will destroy the battery
In the ‘old days’ of mobile phones this was an issue, but modern smartphones run on lithium-ion batteries which are smart enough to stop charging when they have reached capacity. Hence you can leave your phone plugged in overnight to charge without worrying.
A few other things – You can use your phone while it charges. You don’t need to deplete your battery before charging it (see point 7 below). And if you were to break (or more commonly) lose the charger that came with your phone, don’t stress about buying an expensive replacement from the same brand because a simple off-brand one will be totally fine for your phone.
5. You need to defragment your hard drive
This is a myth that used to be true but is no longer applicable with computers these days. It used to be that you’d occasionally need to manually run a utility to defrag your system. Now, that function is built into Windows and other major operating systems but it runs automatically as needed. There’s no need for you to do a thing.
6. Better processors make for a better all-round speed
If you want to speed up your computer for gaming, you’re best off buying a better video card. If you want to just speed up general performance, a solid-state drive will boost your speed more than a new processor.
If you ever are in the market to put together your own computer, know that there are countless communities on the internet sharing information on this thing.
Otherwise, dedicated PC stores won’t guide you astray and will give you a good price for what you get. Going down to the local big-brand name electronic store and buying the most expensive thing the salesperson recommends is rarely your best option.
7. Fully draining the battery on your smartphone or laptop will help condition it
This used to be true for older nickel- cadmium and nickel-metal hydride rechargeable cells. However, this is not true for lithium-ion or lithium-ion polymer cells used in current day devices. The best thing you can do for the batteries in your laptop or smartphone is to use them for their purpose, powering via battery, rather than AC. Constant “deep cycles” — a complete drain of your battery — is rough on any battery and can decrease performance over time. Using the battery is the best thing for it.
8. Magnets will erase your data
No. Well yes. Well, you would need a really really big magnet, and even then, it would only affect certain types of data storage. Solid state drives (SSD) such as thumb drives, for example, are safe. Hard disk drives, like those on your computer, are at risk but only from extremely powerful magnets, like those used in MRI machines or other specialized equipment.
So basically, don’t take your computer along to your next CT Scan.
9. People think they can stop Facebook using their data with a disclaimer
People who add copyright disclaimers to their Facebook profile are overlooking one important fact. Facebook has already used their legal powers in their terms and condition. In short, as soon as you upload you own your photos to Facebook, the own it. Period.
Facebook also monitor everything you do on their platform from what you click on, what you look at, who you talk to, what you comment on, what device your using, how long you spend on it, how frequently you log on and about a thousand other little things – even your location.
Having said that, please don’t freak out, delete the app off your phone and put a tin foil hat on. We, and they, don’t meant to frighten you nor mean you harm.
10. The higher the signal bar the better the service
While having more bars helps service, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee excellent reception. The bars only indicate how close you are to the nearest cell tower. But there are other factors that impact how fast the internet on your phone performs, such as how many people are using the network.
Hopefully you’ve learned a few things from the 10 common tech myths above. The main message of this entire post is to stop fearing new technologies and start embracing them. As time goes on these technologies will be getting even better and more useful – as we’ve already witness over the past five, ten or fifteen years. And if you aren’t sure on something, simply ask someone who might know the answer to help clarify the situation and remove your worries.