You may be surprised to learn that, not all the facts that you know about computers are true. Like most things, computers are prone to their fair share of myths that have been built up and passed on by word-of-mouth throughout the years. Of course some myths are more absurd than others but as technology advances it’s hard to find any truth in most.
Most PC issues are fixed using random troubleshooting steps or by following tips found online.
Therefore, it’s not unexpected that many of these myths pop up. Some have developed from simple misunderstandings while others have developed as a means for people to earn money from you. Windows alone has several performance myths build up around it that may encourage you to spend more.
Hackers Are Trying To Invade My Computer
It’s no secret the internet has become the central playground for cyber criminals today. However, the common belief that hackers are actively waiting to invade your computer is over exaggerated.
The internet is certainly not a safe place to disclose personal information. There are a lot of automated spyware and viruses on social media and other websites that you may frequent. Sometimes you’ll also receive phishing emails trying to get you to give up your social security, banking, and credit card information.
However, to say that there is someone sitting in front of their computer searching for “holes” into your computer, is not true. Rather than actively seeking entry into your computer most cyber criminals usually set traps for their prey. Most times these are bots seeking email addresses and vulnerabilities in your PC security.
Of course, if you’re a high-value individual (e.g. a senator or business CEO) there might in fact be hackers actively searching for holes to invade to obtain valuable information. Hence being overly careful can come in handy.
Some Free Download Websites Are Clean
There might have been some truth to this statement a few years ago but today websites used for downloading music, videos etc. have taken a dark turn. Yes, this includes SourceForge as well. uTorrent, once a respected website among computer nerds, is now being used by client to steal your CPU cycles to mine Bitcoins.
All freeware download websites are corrupted today. Popular free download websites like FileHippo, Download.com, SourceForge and Softpedia all add extra baggage to the freeware they provide you with.
Even when you use “safe websites” for download you can expect some junk to be installed on your computer. The owner of MajorGeeks, one of the most trusted freeware download website, even admitted that it would be impossible to offer so many downloads without adding in some junk software.
Using programs to download instead of freeware websites does not make a difference – you’ll still be taking some junk onto your computer. Ninite which allows you to download applications to your windows PC is the only “good” freeware. The catch though is that it only offers a limited selection of software for download.
Never Leave Your Computer On When It’s Not in Use
Assuming it was manufactured within the last decade, shutting down your computer often is not always necessary – whether or not you’re going to be sleeping or getting up to grab a snack.
Yes, it’s not productive or cost efficient to leave your computer at on when not in use. However, instead of powering off you can sleep or hibernate to save power and avoid the hassle of turning it back on. Simply shutting down the lid of your laptop should put it right to sleep.
For your convenience you can also automate when your computer should go into hibernation mode if not being used. No power will be used but all programs and applications will be ready to use once you log on. Powering off your computer every time you take a “bathroom break” is time consuming and unnecessary. Just be sure to restart the computer occasionally.
Never Allow Your Computer to Update Automatically
Enabling your computer to update automatically isn’t as frightening as it sounds. Some Windows users make it their point of duty to disable automatic system and browser updates because they are worried it will break their computer.
However, generally there’s nothing bad about allowing your computer to update automatically. It improves the performance of your computer and closes security holes. Breakages occur on rare occasions. Closing security holes is more important and the best way to do so is to ensure that the operating system, plug-ins, browsers and relevant software are updated regularly. If you’re skeptical about allowing some software to update automatically, then you probably should forgo them all together.
Windows 8 and 10 don’t force reboots of your computer after updates so you don’t have to worry about the PC shutting down in the middle of your favorite video. Window 7 users will need a quick registry hack to prevent the computer from rebooting.
Internet Explorer is Everything That’s Bad – Old Fashioned, Vulnerable, and Slow
You can find memes about Internet Explorer in every corner of the internet. It’s one of the most common jokes among geeks. Microsoft’s decision to replace with Edge, the new browser in Windows 10 did not help the situation either.
Of course you can choose to use whatever browser you prefer. It’s not easy to give up on Google Chrome. However we thought we’d clear the air that IE isn’t the loser it’s made out to be.
In Use Memory Is Not Good
Most new operating systems for Apple’s iOS, Windows, Mac OS X and Linux will use up a lot of your computer’s RAM. You’ll also find that some of the latest internet browsers also up a good portion of the memory.
This is great news! Once the data is in RAM you’ll be able to access it more readily. All data, applications and files found in RAM will save time and allow you to get more work done.
Empty RAM is of no use on your computer. Whenever more RAM is needed on your computer it can simply remove the cached data from the RAM to create additional space. Occasionally you should check you resource usage on your computer to see how high or low your RAM usage is. A high number is optimal for top notch computers and devices.
Try to avoid using RAM booster or “memory optimizer on your Windows computer. These applications lowers the performance of your computer by purging cached data and leaving RAM empty.
You Should Always Defrag Your Computer
No, there is no need for you to defrag your computer assuming it was made in this decade. Today Windows computers feature built-in defragmentation utility that will do all the work for you. It functions automatically so you don’t even need to open it.
If you are a gamers and you want your computer to perform at optimum level we recommend you run a manual defragmentation after you’ve installed the game you intend to play. This is the only time when manual defragmentation is necessary.
Investing in a third-party defragmentation utility is a luxury practice. Programs like Diskeeper Professional cost as much as $70. You can use that money on something much more valuable like a solid-state drive to upgrade your computer. The SSD will make your computer twice as fast in comparison to a defragmentation utility. Sure you can get defrag utilities for less than $70 but it’s better to use that money elsewhere.
You Can’t Watch Videos Online Without Codecs
Things have changed and codecs are not as important today as they were in the past. DivX, Windows Media Player, and RealPlayer were a must have. Java had us all in a frenzy and Microsoft’s Silverlight was welcomed with open arms. These days we can watch videos online courtesy of Adobe Flash Plug-in and HTML5. Some websites still favor Microsoft Silverlight but the majority are on board with the newest trends.
If you’re asked to install codecs after clicking a link to watch a video online – it’s most likely a trick luring you into installing trach on your computer. You should also avoid downloading codecs to watch videos downloaded to your PC – it doesn’t work in VLC you probably shouldn’t watch it. Once you download VLC from the official website you can rest assured no trashed will be installed to your computer.
Your Poor Computer Performance Is Cause By A Virus or Malware
Most problems with computer performance are blamed on viruses and malware. However, this isn’t always the case. In fact, most new malware are built to run undetected in the background without hindering your computer’s performance.
Yes, it’s possible your computer can get infected by a malware since cybercriminals have recently unleashed a number of bitcoin mining malware on the internet. Not to mention the number of DDoS attacks. However, viruses and malware rarely affect your computer’s performance. Running too many programs at once and overloading your browser with irrelevant add-ons can slow down your computer. There might also be an issue with your computer hardware. Simply put, a virus isn’t always to be blamed.
An Antivirus Is All You Need
It’s common knowledge that an antivirus software can’t solve all the issues. When it comes to technology nothing is ever 100% perfect. However, many people over estimate the effectiveness of antivirus. It’s a major part of the defense system on Windows computers but not the only part. Symantec the creators of Norton Antivirus even stated that an antivirus software cannot protect PC users from all cyber attacks. If you can’t trust the creators who can you trust.
A major downside is that it doesn’t fend off obnoxious software from making its way onto your computer. An adware or spyware can insert itself into your internet browser even if you have an antivirus. Worse yet, some free antivirus even come packaged with their own junk ware.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t need an antivirus on your computer but you should pair it with other security features.
You Can Improve Your Computer Performance By Clearing Cache
Some computer applications will store cache files so they are ready available on the hard drive if needed. It can save you the time, as well as bandwidth, of having to download the application.
The internet browser you use stores a number of cache files from the web pages you visit, and images you view among others. Utility programs used for cleaning computers like CCleaner can be used to clear your cache and free up space – but is it necessary?
Removing the cache would mean you will have to download the applications again once you’re ready to use them and it will also limit the performance of your browser. The disk space won’t remain vacant for long either. So it might be better if you leave it alone
There are many other PC myths that we haven’t included in this post. Most technological devices from smartphones to tablets to smart TVs have their own myths. Some of you might have already been familiar with these so if you think we’ve missed any important ones, sound off in the comment section below