1) Private Browsing Myth- Myth
How you’re still tracked in private browsing mode. You may have tried your browser’s “private” mode, but have you read the fine print?
Things like cookies and history are deleted when you close out, but there are plenty of other ways you’re being tracked, like through your IP Address and logins. Search engines can still record your searches. Your internet provider can still see where you go. So, even though YOU can’t see your past activity, the rest of the internet can. Which means, advertisers can still build profiles based on your activity, which they use to show targeted ads that follow you around the web. Also, all of this info can be requested by the government, which renders “private” browsing pretty ineffective.
2) Macintosh (Mac’s) Doesn’t Get Virus Attack – Myth
Today we’ll be talking about a lot of the myths and realities of security and viruses on the Mac platform. We’ll also be discussing why people so commonly think “Macs don’t get viruses” as well as why Macs may (or may not be) safer computers than Windows machines. And as usual, if you have any computing horror stories relating to Macs, viruses, and malware, feel free to share them with us Via Our Contact Form.
Lots of people say “ Don’t worry about viruses, just get a Mac.”
Is this advice on the level? Let’s take a look at the history of Macintosh security, and learn what we can from the Mac. Macs are a fairly safe platform, but that doesn’t mean that they are always going to be. Nor does it mean that they aren’t without their faults. As time progresses on, it seems inevitable that any platform that is as popular as Mac will enjoy years and years of users carelessly using the internet with no repercussions. In fact, while viruses may be fairly uncommon, there are other kinds of malware that have been known to attack Macs, and it’s probable that instances of this sort of malware will increase over time.
Here’s what seems inevitable: more and more people will begin to use personal computers of any variety, be they Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux. While the Windows market is likely to grow faster in a world where more and more people are starting to use the internet, in a world where even more people are using computers, even more people should be using Macs. Will be begin to see niche profit-driven viruses? It seems very plausible —security through minority will probably not work forever.
3) Overcharging Your Laptop/Smartphones is a Myth- Myth
Modern day lithium based rechargeable batteries have electronics inside of them that (should) prevent overcharging.
The battery consists of multiple cells stacked together to produce enough power. The circuit is designed to prevent these cells from either being completely discharged or overcharged, else damage will result to the battery. In extreme cases, the circuit may completely disable the battery to prevent fires. Of course, this isn’t always the case, as the circuit itself could fail to protect the device.
Overcharging can occur in traditional single cell batteries, your rechargeable AAs, AAA, etc. They lack the electronics to prevent overcharging because they take up the entire form factor, else they would not provide enough power to the device. So, the recharger themselves are supposed to be designed to prevent overcharging. Some chargers don’t have this “smart technology”, particularly older or off brand ones.
So these tend to deteriorate faster than “smarter” lithium battery packs found in cellphones and laptops. Also, different chemical makeups in the same form factor add to the confusion. Ni-MH vs Ni-Cd have different charging/discharging characteristics. Chargers have to be designed with this in mind. And pretty much all batteries hate heat and naturally deteriorate over time. I wouldn’t say go out of the way to protect them from heat (say having to remove them EVERY time you docked your laptop for instance), but just to keep that in mind (leaving your laptop out in sunlight or using it on a surface that blocks the vents). Sometimes convenience is more important.
4) More mobile bars means more signal- Myth
The bars on your phone actually indicate the signal strength from the cell tower nearest to you, and have no bearing on your ability to make a call. Your mobile reception still depends on how many people are connected to that tower. So you could still make a call perfectly with just one bar, while struggle to be heard when you have all five.
5) LED and LCD are different- Myth
The only difference between an “LED TV” and an “LCD TV” is the type of backlighting it uses. LED displays use light-emitting diodes (yes, you’ve guessed it LEDs!) to illuminate the display – whereas non-LED sets (such as LCD TVs) use fluorescent backlights.
6) The 30 second rule- Myth
Waiting 30 seconds to reboot your computer can seem to take an eternity. Well there is a quick and simple alternative. Don’t wait that long! There is no evidence that a computer needs to be turned off for half a minute before rebooting; with some experts suggesting anything between 5 and 15 seconds at the most.
7) Turning a computer on and off regularly is bad for it- Myth
The less time a PC is working, the longer it should last. PCs also produce heat when they are working, so turning them off reduces cooling loads. The thing is, most PCs reach the end of their useful life well before the effects of being switched on and off multiple times have any kind of impact on their service life. So unless you are still making do with your Amiga 500 from 1990, you should be OK.
8) More megapixels means better pictures- Myth
It’s true that more megapixels means more detail, especially in larger photos. This isn’t just down to pixel count though, it also depends on the camera’s sensor. The larger it is, the more light data it can be picked up, and the more detailed your images will be. The higher the smartphone’s camera resolution you start with, the less grainy photo you’ll get if you zoom in. For instance, the Nokia Pureview 808 Symbian smartphone snaps stills at a whopping 41-MP, but you can zoom in on a photo up to four times without any loss of picture quality. Other than this narrow exception, feel confident choosing a 16-MP digital camera with a larger image sensor over a 20-MP model with a smaller sensor.
9) 16GB means 16GB of storage- Myth
Not true. The amount of storage on a phone varies according to the size of its operating system and pre-installed apps and software, also known as Bloatware. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is advertised as having 16GB of memory, but actually only offers around 9GB of free storage space.
10) Closing Apps can increase battery life-Myth
This one is difficult, mostly due to the fact that different phones use different operating systems. However, even after a number of tests carried out by independent experts, the results have been inconclusive. It seems closing background apps on iOS and Android platforms in order to improve battery life very much depends on the app itself and there is no general rule.
11) Run your battery down before charging- Myth
Remember when we were always told that is was best to run down the battery of a mobile phone before charging it again?
Well, this may have been the case for those old enough to remember the old Nokia 6210, but today it’s not as straight forward as that. This particular theory originates from the days of the old nickel cadmium batteries that suffer from a memory effect. However, they are no longer present in modern devices which rely on lithium batteries. Even so, many experts are still divided on whether to keep your battery topped up or run it down completely before charging.
12) Airport scanners ruin your memory card- Myth
As if the hassle of removing your shoes, belt, watch, coat and just about everything else as you go through airport security wasn’t enough; the sight of your bag, which happens to contain all your holiday snaps, disappearing down to conveyor belt towards a huge X-ray machine is enough to turn any dream vacation into a nightmare. But don’t worry; there simply is no truth in the myth that scanners will erase your pictures.
13) Always use the official brand charger for your phone-Myth
Oh boy, this one. This one has its roots in what is essentially marketing. Whenever you get your shiny new phone from a given manufacturer, odds are pretty good that the manual will tell you to always buy chargers from the company that made your device. Of course they want you to buy their accessories, duh! But it’s not for the health of your phone, it’s for profit. Any reputable 3rd party charger should be just fine. There are some exceptions, especially in the case of USB-C cables, and some unofficial chargers might not allow for as fast of charging, but in most cases a quality 3rd party charger should be just fine with your device. Really the only ones that you have to watch out for are the super cheap $5 chargers you’d find at a gas station or convenience store. Most of those are just fine, even, but every once in awhile you can come across some bad eggs that might give your phone a hard time.
14) You Have to Turn Your Computer Off At Night- Myth
Should You Shut Down, Sleep, or Hibernate Your Laptop?
Shutting down your computer isn’t something you should regularly have to do, assuming you’re using a computer made at any point in the last decade.
No, you don’t want your computer running at full-tilt all night. But putting it to sleep makes it use almost no power, and it’ll be ready to go immediately when you turn it on. On a typical laptop, just closing the lid should make it sleep. Even powerful desktop PCs can use low-power sleep and hibernate modes.
Computers can be set to automatically hibernate after a while, and they’ll use no power in this mode — but all your open applications and work will be ready when you sit down at your computer again. Going through a full shutdown every night and restart the next day isn’t necessary at all and just wastes your time. You might want to reboot occasionally, but you don’t need to shut down every day.
15) Viruses and Malware Are Why Your Computer is Broken- Myth
Is your computer not performing well? “It must have a virus,” some people think. But this isn’t really true. In fact, modern malware is so profit-driven that you might not even notice a performance change if you have a keylogger running in the background. Sure, it’s possible that your computer is infected by malware and is using its resources on behalf of a botnet, mining BitCoin and participating in DDoS attacks against legitimate websites.
But viruses aren’t usually what slows down a computer. Perhaps you have too many programs running at startup or your browser is loaded down with unnecessary add-ons. Or there may be an actual hardware problem — it’s not just a mysterious “virus” that makes your computer slow and sick.
16) Frequently Refreshing the Desktop Can Speed Up Your Computer- Myth
Some people assumes that it refreshes the RAM, while some others believe that doing it will somehow keep their PCs running smooth and easy. I have seen users obsessed with refreshing the desktop, doing it every 30 seconds or so. They have even learnt the keyboard shortcut – F5 (just to mention, these are the people who never use keyboard shortcuts). They would press the key and hold it down for a long time, sending the desktop into a frenzy of refreshes.
What does a desktop refresh actually do? Refreshing the desktop simply redraws the icons on the desktop. That’s it! It doesn’t refreshes the RAM. It doesn’t clean your PC. It doesn’t refreshes your computer the way it refreshes you when you wake up from a nap. Refreshing the desktop has absolutely no effect on the performance of the computer.
17) Cell Phones Causes Cancer – Myth
This means that what holds true for cell phones should hold true for other wireless devices, as well. The rise of wireless networks has caused distress about what all those waves bouncing through the atmosphere might do to our cells. The answer is simple – nothing. Sleeping on a bed made of wireless routers would be uncomfortable, but it’s not going cause cancer.
Some users become concerned because of another alarming effect. Heat. As electronics are used, they put out heat, and that heat is absorbed by our bodies. That’s why your thighs are warm after using a laptop.
Computers can be harmful if they’re too hot, but the problem isn’t limited to electronics. Dermatologists have long known that constant exposure to heat can cause scaly, discolored skin which is often permanent. A hot computer can cause this – a can a heating blanket, seat warmer, fireplace or oven.
While skin discoloration and minor burns can be a problem to a handful of people, there’s no evidence that normal, intermediate use of a computer will cause cancer. The lesson from dermatology is simple. If something is hot, don’t hang around it too long.
18) Anything you delete from your hard drive is gone forever – Myth
Given that we lay our lives bare on our computers–what with doing personal banking, storing family photos, researching our medical conditions, and so forth–it would be comforting to be able to believe that if we erase something on our computers, we don’t have to worry about that data being available to anyone who might want to access it later.
Sadly, that would be a naive assumption. The truth is, it’s very difficult to permanently get rid of your data. And if you want to do so, you probably need to go get a drill.
So if the operating system isn’t actually removing the data from your hard drive, how can you get rid of it? “You’re going to want to take the old hard drive, take a drill, and drill 10 to 12 holes through the drive–and not in a straight line. Scatter the holes and make sure they go straight through.”
19) Place a magnet near a computer and you can erase its data -Myth
Solid state drives (SSD) and other forms of flash memory, found in laptops, smartphones and USB thumb drives, use a stored charge in a cell to record bits in a binary code. Data stored on hard disk drives (HDD), however, is stored by changing the polarity of the magnetic bits, creating a binary code. According to Mark Re, senior vice president at drive maker Seagate, since no magnetic field is necessary to record or store data on an SSD, a magnet would have as much effect on it as a pastrami sandwich. But a strong magnetic force could flip the polarity of the bits on an HDD and disrupt the code. How strong of a magnet? “Greater than 1.1 Tesla,” said Re, “equal to an MRI magnet used for medical imaging. The type of field strength needed to create this type of failure mode requires special equipment.” In other words, a super magnet — even stronger than the juiced-up junkyard car electromagnet used to erase incriminating evidence stored on a police laptop in last year’s “Breaking Bad” season opener. A sledgehammer is more readily available.
20) If you post a claim ownership of material you post on Facebook, you maintain exclusive rights to that material. The issue arose when a revolt erupted over Facebook-owned Instagram’s terms of service, which ostensibly allows the company to sell posted photos to advertisers- Myth
To use Facebook, you had to agree to its Terms of Service, which states that “you own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared.” But this grant is followed by Facebook’s retention of “a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post.” Jeff Travis, an intellectual property lawyer and partner at the Bakersfield, Calif., firm Borton Petrini, summarizes your Facebook rights as “you own it, they have a license to use it.” Travis notes that a contract you’ve essentially signed can’t be abrogated just by posting a counterclaim. Gabriel Ulloa, interactive media coordinator and social media expert at managed service provider Chartec, notes, “As long as your profile is public, anyone and everyone has the right to use whatever they want.”
21) A cellphone or smartphone continues to transmit or receive GPS signals that can be tracked by the government even when powered down. In its “Defend Yourself Against Cellphone Tracking” advice, the Electronic Freedom Foundation stated “the government can even track some cellphones when they are powered down.” – Myth
Unfortunately, none of the websites repeating this paranoid belief cite a single concrete, documented case of phone-off tracking for one good reason: It’s impossible. “Any signal requires power to transmit,” said Jeffrey Jurist, president of Spy Associates, which makes and sells GPS tracking and other spy gadgets. “There is a product to track phones … BUT [this is] only possible if [the] phone is powered.” The one exception is if you’ve unintentionally installed a piece of malware — a Trojan horse used to control and/or monitor the device — that Vitaly Kamluk, chief malware expert at Kaspersky Labs, said “makes the user think the phone is ‘off’ but it’s not really turned off.” A temporary solution is to remove the battery; a more permanent solution is installing an anti-virus app on your phone. But the bottom line, said Jurist, is “no power equals no electronics can work.”
If You Guys Think Something else That I Missed out, Then Let Me Know In Comments Section Below, Let’s Make All Of Us Tech Myth Free…, And We’ll Catch You In Next One.
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