ArticlesAnalytics7 computer myths: fiction and reality

7 computer myths: fiction and reality


The computer and the myths associated with it. Some of them are funny, some of them have a basis in fact, and some are just lies. Today, we’re going to take a look at the most common computer myths.

Technology affects our lives, and sometimes we even depend on it. At the same time, we sometimes do not fully understand them. That’s why there are various myths about computer technology, and we often believe them. If you combine this with the fact that technology is developing so fast that few people can keep up, it’s no wonder that some of these myths have persisted for years.

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Anonymity on the Internet

The Internet is an endless road that can be used 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A user viewing content from a tablet, computer or smartphone may think that no one can track them on the other side of the screen because they cannot be seen. The truth is that by simply connecting to the Internet, a user reveals a lot of information about themselves: what device they are connecting from, where they are coming from, what operating system they are using, screen resolution, etc. And they don’t even realise it. Technologies have even been developed that are supposed to “guarantee” anonymity, such as various proxy servers, VPN services, or incognito modes in browsers. But don’t believe that your connection will be truly anonymous. Someone will always be recording your activity, and you never know how it might be used. This is how the world of the Internet works. Everyone there is offering you something, selling you something, even trying to cheat you and get your confidential data.

incognito mode

For example, anonymous mode in browsers works well, especially when you want to hide your activity from other computer users. Indeed, your internet browsing history, cookies, and other data are not saved during an anonymous session, but that’s where privacy ends. Private browsing does not allow websites to know who you are (unless you are logged in), but it does not hide your IP address. In addition, users’ activities can still be seen by ISPs, government and regulatory authorities.

Deleted files

Deleting a file or folder is a very simple task, especially with modern devices. A few simple steps, and your files are seemingly deleted. However, it is just as easy to restore them. That is, we have two levels. If you look in your device’s Recycle Bin, which is usually automatically cleared after a certain period of time (usually 30 days), you can recover your data and files with just one click. However, even after resetting your data, there is still a fairly high chance that it can be recovered. Simply put, the data is still on the disc, it’s just marked as overwritable and recoverable, and it’s not visible at first glance. You can also use special programmes to “recover” them. This principle was introduced to save time and computing power. For many people, though, this is great news. If you delete something by mistake (there are a lot of such cases, even for experienced users), then the data can be restored by anyone, and even without much effort.

Computer, delete files

This often happens when a computer is sold to someone else. This is where these mistakes are made. The person to whom you sold your laptop may reinstall, restore factory settings, or format the data storage. This means that he or she can get your files that are supposedly deleted.

Computer, delete files

Therefore, when you sell your laptop, tablet or PC, you should completely reset the device to factory settings with all files and programs deleted. The disc storage must undergo a special “wipe” process to prevent data recovery.

Read also: What is CorePC – All about the new project from Microsoft

Miracle apps for optimisation

Back in the day, when computers weren’t that fast, had little RAM or small hard drives, there were programs that promised to improve the performance of the device. In short, users thought they could speed up their slow computer.

Computer, WinOptimyzer software

But it was a big mistake. Where there is a lack of hardware power, where there is a lack of RAM, it is impossible to change everything with software alone. In other words, programs can help restore the original performance of a PC, but they cannot add RAM or a few extra megahertz to the processor. That is, if we are not talking about PC settings, namely power and speed, then such “miracle programs” will not help you.

Computer, CCleaner software

On the contrary, some of them can even be harmful. It’s better to buy a new computer or laptop rather than trying to speed up old components.

Read alsо: Bluesky phenomenon: what is the service and how long will it last?

Signal on full blast

Even if you are connected to a Wi-Fi network and the indicator shows the full number of bars, this does not necessarily mean that you have the highest available connection speed. At its core, this myth has some intuitive meaning. We tend to think that a small number of bars on the indicator means a poorer signal, while a full bar means the best possible signal. This is, of course, true, because the signal indicator is the only real way to visualise a network connection. But the fact that it is full does not necessarily mean that we have a good connection. It all depends on your network device and your provider’s tariff plan. In simple terms, you will get a faster connection speed if the signal from your provider is more stable and the tariff package provides for speeds greater than 100 Mbps, for example, up to 1 Gbps.

Likewise, the cellular signal bars on a phone indicate the strength of the signal it receives from nearby cellular transmitters, but they have no linear relationship to the quality of the connection. In fact, there are no standardised units of measurement when it comes to displaying signal strength on phones. This means that the same number of bars in two different locations may not mean the same thing. In addition, bars indicate connectivity to an existing network, but not the quality of that network at a given time. For example, if a large number of people are in the same place at the same time (e.g. festivals, concerts, demonstrations), once they all start using their phones, even with a full signal, there may be problems not only with mobile internet connectivity but also with calls.

Computer, Wi-Fi signal

This also applies to the speed of the wireless network. Just because you’re connected and have a strong signal doesn’t mean that the device transmitting the Wi-Fi signal has fast internet speeds. It means that you will be able to browse the Internet quickly, download photos or files to your computer.

Read also: What are 6G networks and why are they needed?

You must allow the battery to discharge completely

In recent years, this myth has started to disappear. However, there are still many people who only charge their mobile phones, tablets, and even laptops when the battery is almost dead. They believe that this is good for the device’s battery. It used to be so, but not anymore. This myth has been around since the days of nickel-based batteries. They suffered from the so-called memory effect. In short, if you don’t allow the battery to be fully discharged before charging, nickel batteries will “remember” that the cycle to full charge is less than their actual capacity. Thus, they may lose some of their capacity.

Computer, charging

However, most modern electronics use lithium-ion batteries, and this problem simply no longer exists. In fact, it’s the opposite for them – it’s not only not useful to completely deplete lithium-ion batteries, it can even be harmful. Instead, they are designed for charging cycles, each of which is equivalent to one full charge. This means that if you charge your phone from 50% to full capacity, half of the cycle will be completed. It is recommended to keep the battery charge between approximately 20 and 80% of its capacity.

Read also: How to set up Nearby Share in Windows

Remove the USB stick safely

Currently, this technological myth persists mainly due to outdated information. Indeed, until recently, it was recommended to click on the Safe Delete icon in the Taskbar and select Safe Delete when disconnecting external storage devices such as flash drives or hard drives. However, this has not been necessary for several years now.

windows11 eject drive

The confusion about this is also due to the fact that this option is still available in Windows. However, according to Microsoft, starting with Windows 10 version 1809, you no longer need to safely eject external drives or USB flash drives. The only thing you need to pay attention to is not disconnecting the drive or flash drive while you are reading or writing something to it, and you may need to wait a few seconds after the computer stops using the drive itself. Although, if you are used to doing this, then keep clicking on the Safe Delete icon in the right corner of the Taskbar.

Read also: Everything you need to know about Microsoft’s Copilot

Cameras and microphones can be used by attackers

There is a concern that both the camera and microphone on a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone can be used by intruders for surveillance. For this reason, there are even special plugs available that can be used to cover cameras when not in use. Indeed, there are advanced methods that allow for unauthorised access to cameras and microphones, but these cases are extremely rare and require a sophisticated hacker attack. In this regard, everyone will instantly recall Mark Zuckerberg, who once showed a photo of his laptop’s camera taped over.

Camera Mark Zukerberg

In normal use, it is almost impossible for someone to remotely turn on your camera or microphone without your knowledge. However, it is possible that someone could track you using another specialised device. What has helped to prevent abuse in recent years is the fact that cameras usually have a diode that lights up when in use, and the camera or microphone is reported in the information section of the Windows Start bar.

Camera Laptop

Therefore, you should not cover your camera with electrical tape or anything else and keep the microphone switched off at all times. This sounds more like paranoia than a real threat.

Of course, there are many more such myths. Most of them have either lost their relevance or are just laughable. One thing is for sure: your online safety depends on you. If you are responsible for what you write and how you behave online, then your computer will not let you down and you will not be afraid of any myths!

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Yuri Svitlyk
Yuri Svitlyk
Son of the Carpathian Mountains, unrecognized genius of mathematics, Microsoft "lawyer", practical altruist, levopravosek
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