5 Computer Myths Everyone Believes

Can Macs get viruses? When should you charge your batteries? Why is your computer running slow? Get the answers in our top 5 computer myths - debunked!
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Written by Staff Writer • Posted on Mar 23, 2015

With the rapid growth of technology in modern society, it's no surprise there are computer myths galore. While some are harmless, others can cause major problems. To help you separate fact from fiction, here are 5 of the most common computer myths everyone believes--debunked.

Myth #1: If I have an antivirus program, my computer can't get a virus.

Many people think that installing an antivirus program will prevent any virus from infecting their computer. After all, it is extremely important to have strong antivirus software, and it will protect you against most threats. However, your security software cannot catch something it doesn't recognize. There are new viruses being created all the time, as well as spyware and other malware. In fact, a new one's been created just in the time it's taken you to read this article! That's why installing any old antivirus isn't enough--it's critical to update your antivirus software regularly to block new threats. And even then, a clever virus might still slip through the cracks.

Your antivirus software cannot protect you from human error. If you (or someone in your family) is opening suspicious email attachments or downloading free programs carelessly, then you might be inviting viruses into your computer! Always use safe Internet browsing practices, even when you have a strong, updated antivirus program.

Myth #2: Mac computers can't get viruses.

For many years, folks assumed that PCs were the only computers that could be infected with viruses. Due to Windows' popularity and huge market share, Macs have benefited from fewer threats--but the tables are turning. While it's true that more viruses have targeted PCs, cyber criminals have dedicated new attention to the "impenetrable" Mac. In 2012, 600,000 Macs were infected by a specific Trojan called flashback. Apple made headlines in February 2015 when they confirmed a major security flaw in iOS and OS X. If Mac is your computer brand of choice, your carefree days are over. It's now vital to take security precautions to keep it safe from harm.

Myth #3: You should only charge your laptop battery when it is completely empty.

Surprised? This myth is actually grounded in fact. Back when computers used nickel cadmium batteries, it was best to wait until the battery was fully spent before charging. However, today's lithium-ion batteries last longer if you don't wait to charge them. When you charge a empty or low lithium-ion battery, it develops a chemical resistance to charging. Therefore, it's better not to run your batteries down to zero before charging again!

Myth #4: You must type "www" before a web address.

This is another myth that grew out of fact. Originally, the Internet was designed in such a way that "www" was a necessary part of a website's address. However, with the way the Internet works today, all you have type is the website's domain name. (Note: you still need to include the "dot com" part of the address for this to work.) For example, typing "bask.com" into your web browser will take you directly to the Bask homepage. Try it with your favorite sites, like "google.com" or "pinterest.com"!

Myth #5: The number of files on your hard drive affects its performance.

When a computer runs slowly, many take it a sign to start deleting some files. In reality, unless your hard drive is completely full, the number of files stored on it has little to do with a computer's speed. Slow computers are generally being bogged down by an infection or by overloading your system with too many programs running at the same time.

If your computer slows down, the best course of action is to 1) close any programs you aren't using and 2) run an antivirus scan to detect any malware that might be affecting your computer's performance. Also, restarting the computer can help to clear out its RAM and complete any outstanding software updates. Thankfully, this means your files are no longer on the chopping block!

Have we debunked any computer myths for you today? No worries--technology is always evolving, and no one can keep up 100% of the time. It's good to always be learning and growing, and if we can help, that means we've done our job!

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