Common Computer Myths (Debunked)
Let us help clear up the confusion and misconceptions about computers, viruses, and more.
Computers are complex machines filled with whatchamacallits and thingamabobs that connect and do stuff that makes the internet happen…or at least that’s how most people understand computers, and out of that continues to grow some misconceptions about computers, viruses and more. So, to help clear up the confusion here is a list of facts behind common computer myths.
Myth 1: Computers can infect themselves
The most frustrating aspect of a computer virus isn’t just the amount of damage it can do to your computer; it’s also the fact that you can become infected with one through even the most innocent and mundane online activities. Even if you’re on a reputable and trusted website, criminals can still place ads on that website with malicious code that infects your computer when you click on it. So even if you never visited a shady site, or downloaded an email attachment, there are still a lot of ways to catch a computer virus, but none of them involve one spontaneously appearing out of thin air. For a computer to become infected a user of that computer had to open, download, or interact with an infected program for the virus to show up.
Myth 2: Macs don’t get viruses
It’s easy to believe that Macs don’t get viruses when every article you read seems to talk about malicious software attacking PCs but very few articles about Mac attacks. There is a good reason for that and not because only PCs get viruses because Macs can get viruses as well. The idea ultimately comes down to the fact that more computers are running Windows, which makes PCs a much bigger target for hackers. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, yes, Linux is susceptible to viruses as well.
Myth 3: Never leave your computer on
This one kind of makes sense on the surface – a laptop needs to rest after running all day, so It’s best to shut it down, right? Well, you don’t need to shut it down every time, especially considering that the hard drive as to work pretty hard every time you turn on your computer after shutting it completely down. Best practice is to place your laptop on hibernation if you’re planning on coming back in a few hours or even the next day. Should you be away from it for a few days, then it’s not a bad idea to shut it completely down, but for the most part, our computer will be excellent with sleep mode when 5 o’clock hits and you want to get out of the office fast.
Myth 4: Smartphones are safer
Smartphones are pocket-sized computers these days, so some people don’t necessarily think of their smartphone as a computer which leads to the misconception that using your smartphone instead of your computer is a great way to avoid getting a virus. This is indeed not the case, as several worms, Trojans, and spyware have been known to infect mobile devices. These viruses can infect your smartphone in the same way your home or office computer would become infected with a virus – user interaction.
Myth 5: If your computer is slow, then it must be a virus
There are a lot of reasons a computer might be running slow that is not necessarily due to a virus. Having a lot of startup programs, not defragmenting your hard drive, an overloaded Windows Registry or many other reasons your computer is running slow that don’t have anything to do with a virus.
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