Debunking 10 Common Technology Myths

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Debunking 10 Common Technology Myths

Fact and fiction frequently collide when it comes to the technology we use in our daily lives. Join us as we set the record straight!

  1. Privacy/Incognito Mode is Totally Private: Do you feel a little better when you put your web browser into privacy or incognito mode? It helps, but you’re still far from 100% private and anonymous. This mode erases cookies and tracking data after you close a window, but it doesn’t stop websites or even your internet service provider from knowing where you’re going.

  2. You’re a Small Potato and Not a Target for Cybercrime: You may be a small potato, but that doesn’t mean your information won’t be found, sold, and resold to bad actors. Many of the tools doing this are automated: They’ll scrape for whatever they can use and sell it, hitting as many targets as possible.
    One thing you can do to help yourself is to make sure you have a different password for each site and service you use online. We realize it’s a pain to remember all these passwords, but this is why we recommend a password manager, like Keeper. 

  3. Alexa is Recording Everything: Devices like an Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Apple HomePod are indeed always passively listening – because if they weren’t the devices wouldn’t hear the “wake work/phrase” but, the devices record only what you say after you say the wake word. They don’t record everything unless you turn on something like Alexa Guard, a feature ostensibly for listening for suspicious noises, like breaking glass, while you’re away. If this is too much listening for your taste, you can typically go to the settings of the device in your app or website and delete your queries as well as set it to never save your recorded voice.

  4. You Should Only Charge a Phone from 0%: Simply put, this is false. Running a modern lithium-ion battery down to 0% all the time is actually harmful and wears them out faster.With the inside components of a battery (like the one in your smartphone) in a constant state of decay, the materials simply hold less power over time. It’s why your old phone lasts for fewer and fewer hours as time goes on.

  5. Charging Phones Overnight Overloads the Battery: Believe it or not, your phone is actually smart enough to have extra protection, so when the lithium-ion battery hits 100%, it stops charging. It will never overload. Tales of phones catching on fire were generated by phones with faulty batteries. In the same sense, do not put your phone under your pillow – it can get hot and even burn you, and then burn itself out. A phone needs to dissipate some heat – another thing that hurts batteries is when a device gets too hot.

  6. Starlink Will Replace Everyone’s Internet Service Providers: Many people have placed hope in Starlink, the satellite-based internet providers from Elon Musk-owner SpaceX. For people living in rural areas who have limited choices when it comes to broadband access, Starlink is transformative; and customers who have it give it high marks. But the likelihood that it can or should replace your cable or fiber connection is slim. The reason it works well in rural areas is because of the low to medium population density.
    It is reported that Starlink service would only be able to handle about 485,000 users; the service hit 400,000 in May of 2022. Ultimately, Starlink isn’t meant to be a replacement, but more of a supplement for those who need it.

  7. PCs Should be Shut Down Each Night: This has been a debated topic for years. Some reasons to shut down computers overnight are – they’ll use less energy, you won’t receive overnight notifications and alarms, and a daily restart helps the operating system. But there are also reasons to leave it on – remote access is possible, the PC can run background updates, and no waiting for a restart.
    According to Panda Security, you should shut down at night only if your PC has sensitive information on it and the network isn’t secured, or when you don’t need to run backups or remotely access the drive. Otherwise, leave it on and restart it occasionally to clear the RAM and perform OS updates.

  8. Apple Slows Down Old Devices to Get You to Buy New Ones: At one point, Apple actually admitted to this. In 2017, it was revealed that Apple did throttle CPUs on older iPhones to help address the aging of iPhone batteries. Of course, people didn’t like that, states sued, and Apple was fined $113 million. Apple’s explanation was that it did this for our own good – to prevent crashes, not to increase sales… So is your phone really getting slower? The real reason probably has more to do with the updates to your operating systems and all the apps installed.

  9. The Cloud is in the Sky: We didn’t realize the tech term “cloud” was being taken so literally. Apparently, some people think references to the cloud indicate that data is being stored in the sky – and that stormy weather can interfere with it.
    In reality, “the cloud” is a metaphor for the internet, taken from the cloud image used in flowcharts back in the day to represent the internet’s amorphous nature. Rest assured, your ability to access cloud computing data and services isn’t going to go away because of clear skies or rainy days.

  10. Rice Saves Wet Phones: Can rice suck the dampness out of a wet phone? Apple’s liquid detection alert document now reads, “Don’t put your iPhone in a bag of rice. Doing so could allow small particles of rice to damage your phone.” Particles in the charging port are a much bigger deal.
    A better option recommended by Asurion, a tech insurance service, is to throw a wet phone into a sealable plastic bag with silica gel packs. You could also try one of those apps that plays a noise or causes a vibration that will expel any liquid in the charging port and speakers. 

We hope this helps clear up any misconceptions! Do you have a tech-related belief that you need an answer to? We’d love to hear from you on our social media platforms!

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