Computers are like any system: they’ve got their own set of urban legends and myths that have built up over the years. From claims that your computer camera is spying on you to assertations that hackers are after all of your data, these computer myths range from the plausible to the absurd. What most people are shocked to realize, though, is just how common they are.
Here are the top seven computer myths that most people still believe:
1. Most Freeware is Safe
Windows Freeware sites have always been a little suspect, but many people think they’re safe as can be. While some computer users believe there is a handful of “good sites” that don’t pose a threat to your PC, the fact is that all Freeware sites are risky at best, and dangerous at worst.
With this in mind, be careful where you download programs, and ensure you’re always using reputable, licensed sources.
2. Automatic Updates Cause Bugs
While automatic updates are released to address system bugs and glitches, some computer users believe they exist for the sole purpose of ruining your PC. While it’s true that automatic updates can occasionally cause glitches, they’re generally easy to fix. In most cases, automatic updates do a whole host of good things, like closing security loops and making your system run faster.
3. If Your Computer is Slow, It’s Always a Virus
Although computer viruses can cause your system to slow down, so can an overloaded hard drive or outdated software. Instead of jumping to the assumption that you need virus removal services, consider seeing your local computer repair tech about a system tune-up, first.
4. Macs Don’t Need Antivirus Software
One of the most persistent computer myths is that Macs are impervious to viruses. While it’s true that the majority of viruses currently in existence are written for Windows systems, rather than Macs, Macs can get viruses. As such, installing antivirus software is always smart, no matter what kind of computer you use.
5. You Should Always Turn Your Computer off at Night
For years, people believed that turning your computer off at night was a smart way to extend its lifespan. While it’s true that your PC doesn’t always need to be “awake,” you don’t need to shut it down completely every night. Instead, close the computer (if it’s a laptop) or allow it to go to sleep when you’re not using it. This will prevent constant offs and ons and protect your system, just the same.
6. Frequent Defragging is a Must
On modern computers, defragging is something you won’t have to worry about. If you own a Windows system, for example, it will defragment itself automatically. While you may occasionally want to defrag the system manually, this is only something gamers and other high-volume users generally need to worry about. This means don’t need to worry about purchasing that spendy defragmentation utility.
7. Viruses Can’t get Past Antivirus Software
While it’s true that antivirus software is always a good idea, it’s important to remember it’s not foolproof. Viruses are always evolving, and it’s entirely possible for malware to slip past your computer’s software.
Discourage virus infestation by being careful about which sites you visit, not clicking spammy or strange links or attachments, and using a quality antivirus software at all times.
Busting the Biggest Computer Myths
PC myths remain a pervasive part of computer culture. This makes sense when you consider how fast this industry has evolved, and how rapidly new technology is introduced. Luckily, you can build your computer knowledge and learn to make more informed PC decisions by understanding the reality about these ten top computer myths.
Have questions about your PC? Contact the techs here at Computer CPR!