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5 Common Computer Myths Debunked

Common urban myths would have us believe alligators live in sewers or lightning never strikes the same place twice. Common misconceptions about computers are just as persistent. Here are several IT myths debunked for your benefit.

5 Common Computer Myths
5 Common Computer Myths

1) A slow-running computer has a virus

A virus can be to blame. Spyware or other malware can also cause a computer to slow down. However, there are also many other reasons your computer might run slower:

  • You may have a lot of programs that start up when you boot up the computer. You could remove or disable programs that start every time.

  • The computer has gone into power save mode every night, but you haven’t rebooted the computer in a long time.

  • There are many programs running in the background. On a Windows PC, you can go into task manager and see what is running and the computer resources in use. On a Mac you can use the Activity Monitor to accomplish the same task.

  • A security utility is running. If it’s an antivirus scanner, let the scan finish first, then see if your computer speed improves. Virus Scans hit the storage drive hard while reading files which can increase the time required to open a new program or application.

  • Temporary files or other junk are taking up too much hard drive space. Your computer needs at least 500MB–1024MB of free space on the storage drive to be able to move and manage files. We recommend 15% free space on Hard Disk Drives and 20% free space on Solid State Drives.

  • Your computer doesn’t have enough RAM to run programs within memory. If your computer has to swap information on the hard drive or solid state drive to get enough memory to run programs, it’s going to work slower.

  • The computer is old. You may need to upgrade to a computer that can handle current software needs without slowing to a snail’s pace.

  • Your computer, specifically the CPU may be overheating. Most modern computers have protections in place to protect critical hardware components. When specific chips get too hot the voltage is decreased to those chips until their temperatures drop to a reasonable amount. When voltage is decreased is means the GHz speed of the CPU will be decreased.

2) Macs don’t get viruses

Many Apple owners believe their Macintosh computers are immune to viruses. If only. Macs do get viruses; they are simply targeted less than PCs. Why? There are many more computers running Windows, which means a bigger, easier target for cybercriminals. As Apple’s market share rises, the threat to Macs is growing. Apple works to protect its users from malware, but you still need to use caution with downloads and when clicking on links from unknown sources.

In fact in our business we have noticed a steady decline in viruses and malware on Windows machines since Windows 10 has become more prevalent. Remember any application that is coded by man can be compromised by man.

3) My Windows registry needs cleaning up

Registry cleaning companies will say that scanning your Windows registry can speed up the computer and avoid error messages. The cleaner finds unused registry keys and any malware remnants for removal. But let’s consider the fact that Microsoft has not released its own registry cleaner. Why not? Because it’s really not necessary. Worse still, going in to clean your registry (when you don’t know what you’re doing) can actually do serious damage. Registry cleaning may resolve errors on startup or optimize an application but we recommend leaving these tasks to processionals.

4) My laptop battery needs to be dead before I recharge if I want it to last longer This was once true. Nickel-cadmium batteries suffered from what was called a “memory effect.” If discharged and recharged to the same point several times, they would remember that point in the future and not go further. Now, however, laptops typically come with lithium-ion (or Li-ion) batteries. They don’t suffer from this memory effect. In fact, they function better with partial discharge instead of letting the battery run down to zero.

What you shouldn't do is leave a battery for a long period of time at a discharged state or fully charged. If you plan on not using your laptop for a couple weeks we recommend leaving it between 33% to 66%. Other steps you can do to improve battery life is limit the battery exposure to extreme cold or hot temperatures.

5) I don’t have anything hackers would want Cybersecurity should be a priority for everyone, not only sprawling enterprises. Let’s put it this way:

  • Do you have any money?

  • Do you have an identity cybercriminals could use to access money or sell for money?

  • Do you work anywhere?

Hackers have all kinds of ways to profit from your data or from hijacking your computer’s processing power. They can turn your computer into part of a bot network or use your information as a bridge into a business target’s system.

Keep all your computers at top speed with the best security measures in place with the help of our experts. Contact us today at 336-785-5432

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