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80,259 News Articles

The 30 biggest technology myths exposed

Fact or fiction: we decide

We've rounded up the 30 most common technology myths and misconceptions and explained why they are, in fact, fiction.

CD/DVD media can last forever

Some disc manufactures claim a shelf life of more than 100 years for optical media, but that is only under ideal storage conditions, use of best materials and an error free process of writing data onto it. These three conditions are seldom fulfilled, and it is not rare to see CDs and DVDs burnt five years ago going bad by mere shelf storage (not used).

It is hard to predict the shelf life of optical media, and there is much disagreement between manufacturers and researchers on the subject. If data is critical to you, it is best to make a second copy of it and replace it every two or three years. Store discs away from sunlight heat and dust, as these can accelerate the ageing process.

If you have an antivirus there is no need to worry about what you click or install

No doubt an antivirus is a must on any PC, especially those connected to the internet, but no single antivirus program can be the digital equivalent of the proverbial impregnable fortress. When a new threat (virus, trojan, or malware) is detected, the antivirus vendor may take anything from a few hours up to a day to come up with an update.

The antivirus program will require such an update in order to detect the new threat. Besides, an antivirus program may not be as effective against spyware or other kinds of malware not classified as 'viruses'. It is a good idea to have an anti-spyware program running alongside the antivirus. An antivirus program without updates is as effective as 'no antivirus at all' against new threats. So, keep your security software updated.

Wireless networks are unsafe and can be hacked easily

Like an open door attracts a saint, any unprotected network (wired or wireless) is a potential security hole (right from stealing your internet connection to reading your email). So long as you take enough care to use a strong encryption method you can make it as secure as a wired network and keep intruders off.

All wireless devices these days support the common encryption protocols; WPA, WPA2 and WEP. Of these, WPA2 is the most secure and enable it to make your wireless network safe. To gain entry to gain entry into the network, users will have to enter a pass phrase, much like a long password.

Since my email requires a username and password, it is safe?

The webpage into which you input your username and password is almost always SSL encrypted, so it's safe. But the same cannot be said about the actual email text you send and receive. A competent hacker in your network can 'read' the text that is 'travelling' between your PC and the email server.

Chances of someone wanting to do that might be very slim, but for extremely sensitive data, it might be worth ensuring your entire email is secure.

NEXT PAGE: The most popular gaming technology myths

  1. We investigate if the most common 'Old Wives Tales' really are true
  2. 64-bit operating systems, unplugging a USB device and damaging your PC by not shutting down properly
  3. Can repeated on-off cycles and formatting hard drives damage your PC
  4. Even more technology tall tales
  5. Will CDs and DVDs really last forever?
  6. Gaming technology myths
  7. More gaming myths explored
  8. Does a 5:1 sound system really enhance the listening experience?
  9. We bust some of the most common digital photo myths
  10. Even more digital photography myths

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