Common Computer Myths Debunked

I thought I would share with you some of the more commonly asked questions clients put to me on a daily basis. They keep surfacing with stunning regularity.

 

Should I regularly turn my computer off to let it rest?

Assuming you’re using a computer made in the last 10 years.

Shutting down your computer isn’t something you have to do regularly.

Unless your going away for more than a few days, it’s perfectly fine to leave your computer on all the time, but putting it to sleep makes it use almost no power, and it’ll be ready to go immediately when you wake it up. On a typical laptop, just closing the lid should make it sleep. Even desktop PCs can use sleep and hibernate modes.

 

Running my laptop battery down to zero before fully recharging is the best thing to preserve its life.

This myth comes from the days of the nickel cadmium batteries and can actually harm the new lithium batteries used in laptops and tablets today.  The more often you use your laptop, the more wear will occur on the battery regardless, but it is not necessary to let it run down to zero before recharging.  You should discharge the battery to something between 40 and 70% before recharging it. Try not to let your battery go below 20%.

 

By opening a spam e-mail in my inbox, I will automatically catch a virus.

Just clicking on the subject line and opening up a spam e-mail, your computer will not contract a virus.  However, it probably will if you click on a link included in the message, or open an attachment.  That said, if an e-mail looks suspicious, immediately moving it in the trash or marking it, as spam is the best thing to do.

 

Do I have to defrag my computer’s Hard Drive?

17 years ago, back when Windows 98 was released, users had to manually open the defragmentation tool and run it. But modern versions of Windows automatically defragment your disks for you.

If you’re still opening the Disk Defragmenter every week and clicking the Defragment button, you don’t need to do this — Windows is doing it for you unless you’ve purposefully told it not to. Modern computers with solid-state drives don’t have to be defragmented at all.

 

Are Hackers Are Trying to Hack my PC?

These days the internet has a lot of malware and social engineering schemes out there all trying to get you to hand over your money. But the Hollywood fantasy of a “hacker” actively trying to compromise your PC just isn’t accurate at all.

Attacks are automated. Your computer absolutely could get malware that attempts to log your keystrokes and try to steal your personal information. You probably will get the occasional phishing email trying to get your credit card number, bank details, or social security number. But there’s no “hacker” out there typing at a terminal screen, probing for holes in your PC.

 

Your Antivirus Will Always Protect You

Antivirus software isn’t perfect — nothing can function perfectly 100 per cent of the time. But many people seem to think that antivirus software is pretty effective. The truth is that Antivirus software is a helpful last line of defence, but you should not rely on it completely.

Many Antivirus software’s allow obnoxious adware and spyware that inserts itself into your web browser, forcing you to use unsafe search engines and pushing additional advertisements onto you, but this isn’t the end of the world and can be cleaned off.

I hope this helps clear up a few popular myths, and provides you with some clarity with your computing. As always, if you would like some advice on any computing problems, you can email me on Nathan@hometechassist.com.au, or call me on 1300 682 817. Thanks Nathan

 

 

 

 

 

 

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