7 Tech Myths and Misconceptions: Brush Up Your Tech Knowledge Bank

By Etamme (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Etamme (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

After hearing about the news on a “fake” Android antivirus app that managed to dupe thousands of buyers, maybe it’s also time to address some of the lingering tech myths or misconceptions many continue to believe. In the age of the Internet and mobile computers, there’s just no reason why people couldn’t be well-informed. Here are some of the many tech myths that really need to be put to rest.

1. “Using Android? You need a task killer.”

Task killers are quite popular on the official Google app store. However, just like the fake antivirus mentioned above, these apps don’t do anything beneficial to a device. Many are still unnecessarily installing them, though. They may not be completely useless but they are mostly useful only for old devices that require the forced app closing to free memory and prevent lags or freezing. If you avoid faultily-coded apps, there’s no reason to get a task killer. Also, in the later versions of Android, you can easily slide away apps that are running in the background.

2. “More expensive ‘original’ video and audio cables mean better picture or sound quality.”

Going for the expensive “branded” cables does not necessarily mean a better choice. A cable test conducted by Gizmodo a few years ago showed how the performance of expensive and cheap cables are roughly the same. This assessment is supported by a similar conclusion from CNet when they did their own tests to prove why all HDMI cables are the same. The CNET test was done in 2012. It has to be emphasized, however, that we are referring to “digital” cables here. In the case of analog cables, there could be differences in output quality that could be noticeable to some extent.

3. “Refurbished computers and other tech products are inferior compared to brand new ones.”

Many companies or households with the money tend to prefer brand new computers, smartphones, tablets, and other tech products because they are deemed superior compared to refurbished or used ones. This may apply if you are just randomly buy refurbished items. If you are discriminating  and careful enough, you can find great deals on refurbished electronics. Also, you have to be keen on the warranties just to be sure.

By Kārlis Dambrāns from Latvia (Nokia Lumia 1020 vs Nokia Pureview 808) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Kārlis Dambrāns from Latvia (Nokia Lumia 1020 vs Nokia Pureview 808) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

4. “Higher megapixels mean a better camera.”

This does not necessarily reflect the prevailing perception of frequent readers of tech blogs and news sites. However, for the general consumer market, the megapixel illusion is still an undeniable reality. Reliable proofs for this is the trend of mobile phone cameras bumping their resolutions even higher. Sony’s Xperia Z series has now reached 20.7 MP. Samsung’s Galaxy line is now at 16 MP. Google’s  new Nexus device is also rumored to sport a new camera with higher megapixels. Even less known Chinese brands have slowly been leaving the 13 MP count.

Of course, the megapixel count does not reflect camera performance. It may even cause problems to image quality as the larger megapixel count of the sensor usually means lower pixel sizes and decreased ability to gather light. There’s more to camera quality than just the megapixels. Lens quality  also has to be taken into account. Moreover, the software processing aspect needs to be properly optimized to make the most of the hardware specs of a camera. Just compare 8 MP iPhone snaps to what many high-megapixel China brand cameras are capable of producing and you should clearly see how higher megapixels don’t mean a better camera. Also, consider DXO Labs’ ranking of the best mobile phone cameras.

5. “Deleted files that have been removed (or emptied) from the recycle bin are no longer recovered.”

No, it’s not enough to empty your recycle bin or trash if you want to make some digital file vanish forever. There are many free and commercial software that can scan a hard drive or other media storage device for possibly recoverable data. If you really want to get rid of a file, you need to securely wipe all free space using an application created for the purpose. The same goes for data stored and deleted on mobile phones. There is still a big possibility for these data to be retrieved.

By cb2k ([1]) [GPL (], via Wikimedia Commons

By cb2k ([1]) [GPL (], via Wikimedia Commons

6. “Private browsing hides your identity online.”

If you were one of those who have been hyped up with the “private browsing” or “incognito browsing” feature of web browsers, be aware that you haven’t really made yourself anonymous online by using the feature. What the feature does is to simply prevent the browser from saving information about your browsing session in a computer. It does not conceal your identity online. Websites will still be able to record your visits and even gather information about the computer you used for browsing.

7. “Macs are not prone to viruses.”

Until now, many still believe this myth. Mac computers, too, are susceptible to malware infection just like other operating systems. The idea that Windows computers are inferior to Macs because of virus attacks is only the result of the popularity of Windows. Since more people use Windows, more get to report instances of virus infection. Now, with Macs also becoming popular, the risks of contracting viruses or malware have also increased. To be protected from viruses, what you need is a reliable malware-prevention and removal tool. Your choice of an OS is already irrelevant.

By Mike Evangelist (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Mike Evangelist (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

These are just some of the numerous tech myths or false beliefs many users have about computers, gadgets, and other tech products. If you are guilty of having any of these misconceptions, it’s about time to review your tech know-how. In a world that gets to be enveloped by technology more and more, it’s not acceptable to remain tech-ignorant.