You use a computer every day and probably think you know a lot of about them, but have you bought into some of the common misconceptions? There are many computer myths out there that affect the way we use our computers, and can even negatively impact our computers. Businesses ranging from law firms to drug and alcohol rehab centers need to know about these myths and how to debunk them. Here are the most common computer myths you need to know about.
1. Myth: A power strip is the same type of product as a surge protector
Fact: Power strips and surge protectors are two totally different things. A power strip merely gives you more outlets to plug in your gadgets. A surge protector might have extra outlets, but it also is designed to cut the power to your machine during a power surge, preventing harmful extra power from reaching your computer and causing damage.
While surge protectors are more expensive than power strips, it’s worth the extra cost to ensure your computer is protected from power surges.
2. Myth: Restarting your computer is just as good as shutting it down
Fact: While restarting is beneficial for cleaning out your computer’s caches, the electrical current is still maintained. Turning your computer off and letting it sit for at least 30 seconds lets the electrical current between the wiring and boards totally fade out.
Don’t be afraid to regularly shut down your computer, as it’s very beneficial to the machine. Restarting is also beneficial, as it allows temporary files to be purged. If you don’t restart regularly, those files can back up, forcing your computer to run slower and even causing it to freeze. Ideally, you should restart your computer at least once a day.
[Read also: How to Speed Up Your Computer]
3. Myth: When you delete a file, it’s deleted for good
Fact: Deleted computer files remain on your computer as references; this frees up space on your hard drive and creates the appearance that a file has been deleted. This is good news if you ever accidentally delete a file, since there are always ways to recover those deleted files.
But what about when you really want the file to be gone for good? There are special programs designed to delete files in their entirety. These programs are a great investment because they help clean up your hard drive and keep your computer running at optimum performance.
4. Myth: Magnets can wipe your hard drive clean
Fact: This might have been true in the past when computers were made with more delicate technology, but today’s computers are made of durable chips that are protected against potentially harmful objects like magnets.
The only magnets strong enough to actually cause any damage to your hard drive are super-powered magnets used by professionals to clear data. Assuming you don’t keep those lying around your house, your computer’s hard drive will be safe.