5 Tech Myths Worth Unplugging

Published on June 15, 2015

While you might quietly cringe at the outfits on the classic TV show you're streaming, you're bound to laugh out loud at a character's old cell phone or computer. Every new day offers new technological advances, and these changes bring a slew of different ideas about how to best manage your devices. To tweak a line from Spiderman, "With great technological progress comes great anxiety." We've done a bit of research to help you separate fact from fiction, so turn down the Journey and get ready to stop believing! Here are our top 5 debunked tech myths. 

Myth 1: "My Mac is invincible! There's not a virus out there that can touch it." 

Sadly, this is not true. While Apple computers boast a lot of great features, and they have fewer viruses in the big wide world, they are not immune. According to Business Insider, a 2012 malware invasion caused the Cupertino-based company to backtrack on its earlier promise that a Mac "doesn't get viruses."

How to minimize your Mac's chances of getting a virus:

  • Install the latest patches and security updates that Mac brings you.
  • Avoid fake protection programs. The top two to avoid at all costs? MacKeeper and iAnti-Virus. (For additional support, check out these user tips.)
  • Don't get tricked by "scareware." Scareware is essentially any third party tactic - like a browser pop-up - that tempt users download a fake anti-virus to "cure" some problem it claims your computer to have. Beware of MacSweeper and MACDefender which also goes under the name of MacProtector, MacGuard, MacSecurity and MacShield.
  • Be on the lookout for fake Adobe sites. Make sure you are always downloading Adobe updates from the secure Adobe website.
  • Disable the “Open ‘safe’ files after downloading” option in Safari Preferences/General. This avoids automatically running files downloaded from the Internet.
  • Avoid suspect websites. Gaming sites, free software, and pornographic websites should all be avoided in order to protect your computer. Peer-to-peer file share sites like Torrent, LimeWire, and PirateBay are particularly dangerous.
  • Download with care. Ever noticed how your computer asks you for a password before downloading any item? Use this opportunity to check out the installer packages and do a quick web search on the title of the package to verify that the content is safe.

Myth 2: "Charging my phone overnight will ruin the battery."

If you're trying to implement green practices into your daily tech use, then you should keep a sharper eye on your phone's battery as it charges and unplug it when finished. With improvements made to cell phones over the past few years, however, most of these devices automatically stop charging once they've reached full capacity.

Bonus tip: If you're planning on charging your phone overnight, consider plugging it in over in the kitchen or living room. Studies suggest that the lights from electronic devices can interrupt sleeping patterns.

Myth 3: "I've got four bars of signal, so my reception shouldn't be acting up!"

The number of bars, dots, or "round signal thingies" on your phone is only a measure of how close you are to the next cell tower. Other factors impact your reception, including the weather and the number of nearby people using the same network. 

Myth 4: "The higher the megapixel count, the better the image."

Not so fast! If you're looking for a ton of pixels, you've got to pick out a camera with a big sensor to match. According to Gizmodo's review of the Nokia 808 cell phone

"A small sensor means that pixels themselves have to be smaller if there are going to be a lot of them, and small pixels suck. Like a crowded fraternity basement, a small, high-megapixel phone sensor creates images mired by discoloration and noise. They may be large images, in terms of the JPEG you view on your screen, but they're not precise, beautiful images."  

Myth 5: "Some guy invented the QWERTY keyboard to slow down typists. It's inefficient."

The Smithsonian dug back into the trenches of typewriting to search for the origins of the keyboard as we know it. They found several different tall tales along the way, but the most likely history begins with the transcription of Morse code. 

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