We’ve heard it all. From the horror stories of technicians to wild IT conspiracies, we’ve put together a list of IT and technology myths.

Myth #1 – Macs Don’t Get Viruses

OK, this is partially true. Macs don’t get the kind of viruses that spread throughout a computer from one infected file. Windows 10 really doesn’t either. Those kinds of viruses are quickly becoming a thing of the past. However, malware, phishing attacks, and ransomware can infect Macs.

Another reason that Macs have a lower risk of getting infected is that Windows PCs owns 91.76% of the market. Hackers mainly write malware that either infects Windows or that doesn’t target one system over the other, like online phishing attacks.

Basically, you aren’t out of the woods by making the switch.

Myth #2 – Blow on Cartridges Before You Play

This goes back to the mid-1980s. Back then, Nintendo video games came on big five-inch plastic cartridges. Occasionally, when you slid a cartridge into the console, it wouldn’t boot the game. Kids and teenagers would pull it out, blow on the connectors, and try again.

People thought that dust had collected on the electronic connectors, but it was more likely that the connectors just didn’t go where they were supposed to when the game was inserted, and it just needed to be reinserted.

Unfortunately, blowing on the sensitive terminals of a cartridge can cause damage to the hardware, because of the moisture in human breath.

Myth #3 – Google Plays Favorite to Sites that Pay

When you do a Google search, the first listings in the results show up as ads. Businesses can pay Google to run ads that show up within certain geographic areas to help drive traffic to their sites. However, web surfers know when content is an ad. Only about 20% of surfers click on an ad, although that’s enough to make Google’s ad service highly successful.

But Is It Organic?

However, the top 10 results that aren’t paid for are not affected by Google Ads. These are called organic results. Having paid ads doesn’t help your ranking in the organic results. If you don’t show up in the organic results, you’ll be invisible if you stop paying for ads.

How do you rank in the organic results of Google? This is why everybody is so focused on SEO, Search Engine Optimization. It’s pretty complex, but it’s based on having good content and a user-friendly website. Google wants its search engine to bring you the best, most relevant sites for every search, so it’s tough to trick the system.

Myth #4 – Charging Your Smartphone Overnight Ruins the Battery

This was somewhat true at one point, but modern smartphone batteries have evolved. Keeping your phone plugged in after it’s full does make the battery go into a trickle charge mode to keep it at 100 percent, but it’s not really a problem.

The only issue is that it can cause the phone to heat up a little. Excessive heat can slowly cause wear and tear to your device. That’s why phone manufacturers suggest not using restrictive cases, which lock in more heat.

Keep It Cool

For the same reason, instead of worrying about overcharging, make sure you aren’t suffocating your phone. Take it out of the case while charging overnight, and don’t sleep with it under your pillows or blankets. Stick with a cool flat surface or a small dish.

Don’t Buy Cheap Cables

One more thing; cheap cables do shorten battery life. Only buy certified cables made or recommended by the manufacturer.

Myth #5 – Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates Is Trying to Depopulate the World

Really? Okay, this one isn’t exactly tech-related, but when I asked around for some of the best IT myths, I decided this doozy just had to make the list.

In the name of humor, bear with me. The story is that Bill Gates is putting his fortune towards the movie villain goal of taking over the world and killing off 80%of the population. The rest of us would be slaves to the elite, who would enjoy a peaceful world untroubled by overpopulation.

The Tinfoil Shorts Award

Many crackpot articles support this, claiming that the world’s richest nerd is using the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help governments develop various ways to reduce the world population; everything from chemicals in the water to fake vaccines to a ray gun, many of which make you sterile.

Fortunately, Bill Gates is too busy trying to give his money to charity to worry about world domination. Since 1994 he’s given more than $60 billion to charity, especially for disease research, water sanitation, and child mortality.

Honestly, though, it’s a great movie idea. Who wouldn’t love a James Bond film about a nerdy villain who announces his notorious plan to take over the world during a TED Talk presentation? Make it happen, Hollywood.

Myth #6 – IT Security Doesn’t Matter if I Don’t Have Anything Important on the Computer

You might not store sensitive information on your computer, but it does have access to other places that do.

Do you use your computer to:

  • • Check your email?
  • • Log into social media sites?
  • • Shop online or pay bills?
  • • Access files and software for your business?

If you can answer “yes” to any of these, then your computer is chock full of valuable data.

If hackers get access to your email, they can get into just about everything else. They can reset passwords or just set your accounts up under a new email. They can lock you out of any account, including your bank account, before you even know what hit you. Also, if you use your device for work, then your customers’ data is at risk too.

Seriously, just secure your computer.

Myth #7 – Nothing Gets Through the Firewall

Hollywood makes firewalls seem impenetrable. The plucky young computer nerd simply needs to turn on the firewall at the last minute to save the day.

Firewalls are an important part of your IT security, but they don’t stop everything. A firewall only really prevents a single type of malware that spreads from computer to computer.

A comprehensive IT security solution that includes firewalls will stop a lot more threats than a simple firewall. Businesses should install spam-prevention, content filtering, and centralized antivirus/antimalware solutions along with the firewall.

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