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3 min read

Do you still believe in these common tech myths?

There are some tech myths that just persist. Many were never real in the first place, some of them were true in the past but technology has evolved to the point where they are now untrue. Common tech myths can often lead to misunderstandings. They can even hinder your ability to fully use various tools and devices. In this blog, we look at five tech myths that you may still believe… but you shouldn’t.

Myth 1: Leaving your device plugged in overnight damages the battery

First is one of the most persistent tech myths. Leaving your device plugged in overnight will harm the battery life. This is one of the myths that used to be true but is largely outdated now.

Modern smartphones, laptops, and other devices have advanced battery management systems. These systems prevent overcharging.

Once your device reaches its maximum charge capacity, it automatically stops charging. This is true even if it remains connected to the power source. In fact, it is often recommended to keep your device plugged in overnight to ensure a full charge by morning.

So, feel free to charge your gadgets overnight without worrying about battery damage.

Myth 2: Incognito mode ensures complete anonymity.

Many users believe that using incognito mode in web browsers guarantees complete anonymity. They feel completely secure while surfing the internet using this mode. But this is not entirely accurate. While incognito mode does provide some privacy benefits, they’re limited.

For example, it mainly prevents your device from saving the following items:

  • Browsing history
  • Cookies
  • Temporary files

However, it does not hide your activities from your internet service provider (ISP). Nor from the websites you visit. ISPs and websites can still track your IP address. They can also still watch your online behaviour and collect data.

Myth 3: Macs are immune to viruses.

Another prevalent myth is that Mac computers are impervious to viruses and malware. It is true that Macs have historically been less prone to such threats compared to Windows PCs. This does not make them immune.

Some people who tout this myth point to malware statistics. For example, in 2022, 54% of all malware infections happened in Windows systems. Just 6.2% of them happened in macOS.

But you also need to factor in operating system (OS) market share. As of January 2023, Windows had about 74% of the desktop OS share. Mac’s OS had just 15%.

When you consider this, it turns out the systems aren’t that different when it comes to virus and malware risk. The infection rate per user on Macs is 0.075. This is slightly higher than on Windows, at 0.074. So, both systems have a pretty even risk of infection. This is the case even though Macs have a significantly lower infection count.

As the popularity of Macs has grown, so has the interest of hackers in targeting these devices. Malicious software specifically designed for Macs does exist. Users should take proper precautions, no matter the operating system in use.

You need to install reliable antivirus software. As well as keeping the operating system and applications up to date. Exercise caution when downloading files or clicking on suspicious links. Being aware of potential security risks and practising safe browsing habits is crucial. This is true for Mac users, just as it is for any other platform.

Myth 4: All cables are created equal.

Many people believe that a £2 cable from a disreputable online seller is the same as a £10 cable from a mainstream retailer or a £100 cable from a high-end premium company.

There is a lot of nuance here but the truth is that a super cheap cable is usually cheap because it uses copper-clad aluminium (CCA) instead of a pure copper core which makes it less reliable and more prone to interference. In extreme cases, cheap cables can overheat creating a fire risk, albeit this risk is low. The difference between the £10 cable and the £100 cable is harder to justify. Some manufacturers will claim that they use purified metals, gold connectors, or other marketing terms but when tested the differences really are marginal.

So all cables are not equal. Don’t buy too cheap, but you also don’t need to bother buying the expensive one either.

Myth 5: You should shut down your PC at night

Back when computers were new parts used to wear out much more quickly than they do nowadays. Hard drives especially were not as robust.

So in order to make these components, and ultimately your computer, last longer the advice was to shut the computer down every night.

But things have moved on, components are better built and designed to last, and you can quite safely leave them running with very few problems. When was the last time you turned off your mobile phone?

Whether you want to shut down every night comes down to personal preference and overnight can be a great time to schedule updates, backups, and other system tasks so these tasks don’t disrupt your working day. Sleep mode is ideal because it lowers the power used, but will still allow for updates to take place.

It’s also worth noting that those all-important patches and software updates often don’t install until the computer shuts down and restarts. Finally, if the machine is grinding to a halt then a reboot will often bring it back to normal (there’s a reason we ask you to turn it off and back on again!)

Separate Fact from Fiction

In a world where technology is an integral part of our lives, you must separate fact from fiction. Understanding the truth about common tech myths can empower you to make informed decisions.

Get the Technology Facts from a Trusted Pro

Whether you need help with an infected PC or setting up a corporate network, we’re here for you. We cut through the tech myths to bring you reliable and efficient service.

Get in touch today to chat about your technology goals and challenges.

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

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