4 Myths and Misconceptions around Technology

A little over a decade back there was a huge craze around things that were causing cancer, and one of the biggest ones happened to be cell phones getting labeled as a Class B Carcinogen. Headlines shot up everywhere about how cell phones could cause cancer! What people don’t know though is that Class B for a Carcinogen means there ‘might’ be a link to cancer, but multiple studies since then have shown that the radiation output from cell phones is low on the energetic level (obvious as they are radio waves), which means they can’t actually damage DNA and therefore cause cancer.

Yet this myth is so pervasive that most people still believe that phones can cause cancer if they are used too much. And it is things like these that get picked up by the media and spread to everyone without some context that ends up causing all sorts of strange problems or at the very least can heavily hurt the technology industry. So if cell phones causing cancer was a myth, what other things are there that we all supposedly know to be true are really just a misconception or myth?

The Illusive Mac Virus

We need to start off strong, and there probably isn’t any greater myth in the technology world than the idea that Mac/Apple computers do not get viruses. Of course this myth couldn’t have started without the help of Apple claiming that its operating system was ‘immune’ to viruses on their website. That was quickly removed after a major iOS worm attacked their iChat system, but since then everyone still strongly believes that you can’t get your apple operating system infected.

The real reason for this myth, and why apple said they were immune, was because no one was really writing virus codes for apple computers, because the majority of computer users even today are Windows, which means you can cause more damage with a windows virus than a mac one. However, with the emergence of mobile technology using operating systems and all the ‘i’ gear these days, we’ve started to see a larger influx of apple targeted viruses. So while viruses on apple are rarer than windows, they are not completely absent and should be protected all the same.

Don’t Download That

In the same vein of electronics and viruses there is one myth that someone always mentions in every anti-virus forum, every article mentioning anti-viruses, and pretty much anything to do with anti-virus software. Someone always feels like they know more than someone who writes anti-virus software, and states that there is no reason for any anti-virus program so long as you don’t download anything if you don’t know exactly where it came from and trust that source.

While that is a great rule of thumb you should be following anyway when it comes to things online and downloading, it is hardly true. The whole reason this misconception even appeared though was because the majority of viruses when the internet first became big were being sent through emails and people were downloading them. These days though, viruses have become more crafty and may only require you to accidentally click on one thing, or maybe just go to a certain page on the web and it will install itself, or just even connect to a certain network.

That doesn’t mean you need to go out and get the most expensive anti-virus software you can find. There are plenty of anti-virus software programs that are free, and operating systems often offer their own.

Refurbished is just Used and Damaged

Refurbished products tend to get the jip when it comes to consumers and their ideas around them. For the most part we all know that when something was refurbished it was returned for one reason or another to the manufacturer. Everyone then assumes that means the manufacturer just tries to pass it along to the next person at a cheaper cost so they can make at least some money on the faulty product.

The whole reason this myth appeared is because of the previous ‘ownership’, since the device in question had to be returned somehow. This ended up making refurbished into a synonym for used, which while it may have previously belonged to and been used by someone, it is also entirely possible something that was refurbished was actually never even opened or used at all and just returned, which then the company has to check on it and see everything is working which marks it as refurbished.

This means, more often than not, buying refurbished electronics is actually getting something that is brand new or like-new at a much cheaper price. If you don’t believe me, take a look at what someone else says about the power of buying your apple products as refurbished and how much you actually save on it.

Batteries and Charging

To conclude our collection of tech myths, this last one is actually a collection of multiple myths that all result in the same general misunderstanding of technology and the way most batteries in devices function. And you have probably heard these ones before too. One is if you leave your laptop or device plugged in all the time it will destroy the battery faster. And the other is that you should wait until your device is nearly dead before charging it again.

What most people don’t know though is that leaving a battery plugged in all the time does not overcharge it, nor does it make the battery run out faster. This is because most of the batteries that we recharge these days are lithium-ion of some kind, which means they actually won’t and can’t take in more energy than they can hold. The only way you can overcharge your battery is if you are plugging it into a socket that has the higher voltage output than the recommended amount. As for waiting for your battery to deplete before charging it? The ions will actually charge faster and run longer the more often you are ‘activating’ them, but if you only ever let your device get to a certain level like 20 or 50% before charging it, then some of your ions will never discharge and they will grow lazy and start to die, depleting the life.

This means your best option for battery life, is to charge your battery at various intervals, and if you do leave it plugged in all the time, remember to occasionally use your device to the point of death then just plug it back in for a long while again so your ions get some action.

Galen Irving is a technology specialist and computer repairer of six years, who has been focusing on supplying informative tutorials and other sources focused around refurbished laptops. Most recently he’s been constructing a few personal computers that are themed around Avengers members.