Technology Myths – Busted

Alright, we’ve all (hopefully, for my sake) seen the show Myth busters.  That’s where I got my idea for this post.  I’ve researched many technology myths, and the actual answers.  Magnets on the computer, unplugging cords before turning things off, the little things, but the things we wonder about every day, and the things we think we’re doing to prevent some catastrophic event.  As if our computers will explode if we unplug a USB without telling it we will unplug it… I’ve got all of the answers here.

  1. You always need to select “safely remove hardware” before unplugging a USB. – FALSE. This actually is only true if you are transferring a file, or if data is being read from the device and written on to a computer.  It is completely fine to unplug a mouse, keyboard, or idle device without telling your computer you’ll be doing so.  Remember, if it’s idle, off, or not in use, it’s safe.
  2. Deleting files from the recycle bin erases them from the galaxy – FALSE.  Once you delete the files from the recycle bin, sure, the recycle bin is empty and ready for more trash, but with file recovery software, it can be brought back easily.
  3. CD/DVD media can last forever – This is TRUE… if you keep it safe.  Obviously, a CD that’s lying on the floor of your car, getting stuck between the seats, scratched, and ruined will not last forever.  Also, water damage, high temperatures, and even too much sunlight can ruin a disc.  But as long as you keep it in the case, and make copies of important ones just in case, you’re golden for a while.
  4. Antivirus = click away! – FALSE.  Just because you’ve got an anti-virus protection package on your machine, that DOES NOT mean you can still click on whatever pop-up ads are appealing to you, and open whatever strange emails you receive.  A good rule of thumb is to have an anti-spyware program installed as well.  And always keep your virus protection software updated.
  5. Not being found on Google? We can help
  6. Wireless networks are unsafe and can be easily hacked – FALSE. All wireless devices these days support standard encryption protocols.  They are WPA, WPA2, and WEP.  WPA2 is the most secure and will most certainly provide a secure and safe wireless network.  It requires a password or pass phrase, and will always keep intruders out.
  7. Playing a scratched disc can damage the player – TRUE!  Optical drives have a mechanism for increasing laser beam intensity if a disc isn’t readable at normal intensity.  Stronger beam means more heat and more wear and tear on the drive’s components.

So folks, have we learned something today?  You can now rest assured that you’re wireless network is safe, your favorite CD will last forever if you take care of it, and that if you’ve accidentally deleted your recycle bin, there are ways toward retrieving your files.  So sleep easy, and be happy that these myths have been BUSTED.

Nicole