Myths, Disinformation, and Fake News have a habit of lingering in people’s minds long after they have been debunked. Most likely it’s like a newspaper retraction, where the outrageous but incorrect ‘facts’ appear on the front page – above the fold, but when it’s found to be untrue, the tiny retraction is buried on page 14 somewhere near the bottom. So, what do most people believe? The fake news.

Technology plays a significant role in our lives in this digital age, but along with the rapid advancements and innovations, several myths have persisted.

Is it okay to leave your smartphone charging overnight? Do Macs get viruses? And what about those 5G towers? What’s going on with those?

Those tech myths that are still making the rounds can often lead to misunderstandings. They can even hinder your ability to fully use various tools and devices. All hands on deck for a little debunking! We will explore the truth behind them.

Fake News Items:

1: Leaving your device charging overnight damages the battery

This is one of the most persistent tech myths, but this fake news is largely outdated. Modern smartphones, laptops, and other devices have advanced battery management systems that prevent overcharging.

Once your device reaches its maximum charge capacity, it automatically stops charging. This is true even if it remains connected to the power source. In fact, it is often recommended to keep your device plugged in overnight to ensure a full charge by morning.

So, feel free to charge your gadgets overnight without worrying about battery damage. Plug it in, go to bed, and forget about it.

2: You are completely anonymous in incognito mode.

Many users believe that they become virtually invisible using incognito mode in web browsers. They feel completely secure while surfing the internet using this mode, but this is not entirely accurate. Incognito mode does provide some privacy benefits, but they’re limited.

For example, it mainly prevents your device from saving the following items:

Browsing history


Temporary files

What it does NOT do is hide your activities from your internet service provider (ISP) or from the websites you visit. ISPs and websites can still track your IP address. They can also still watch your online behavior and collect data, which they typically do.

If you really want complete anonymity online, then consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or other specialized tools that provide enhanced privacy protection.

Another reason people use incognito mode at work is for goofing off on websites like Amazon or Facebook. It is true that no evidence of the sites you’ve visited can be found in your cookies, temporary files, or browsing history, BUT if someone on your IT services team monitors your computer to see what you’re doing, they can see your incognito pages if they are open.

3: Macs are immune to viruses.

Another prevalent myth is that Mac computers are impervious to viruses and malware. This was never true, it was only ‘deemed’ true because of market share.  Microsoft has always been the big gorilla in the room, and their offerings, specifically Windows OS are for PCs. As of January 2023, Windows had about 74% of the desktop OS share. Mac’s OS had just 15%.

Hackers are like sharks – they go where the feeding is most plentiful.

This is the main reason that Macs have historically been less prone to such threats compared to Windows PCs, but his does not make them immune.

Some people that tout this myth point to malware statistics. For example, in 2022, 54% of all malware infections happened in Windows systems. Just 6.2% of them happened in macOS.

When you consider this, it turns out the systems aren’t that different when it comes to virus and malware risk. The infection rate per user on Macs is 0.075. This is slightly higher than on Windows, at 0.074, so both systems have a fairly even risk of infection. This is the case even though Macs have a significantly lower infection count – it’s a per capita calculation.

As the popularity of Macs has grown, so has the interest of hackers in targeting these devices. Malicious software specifically designed for Macs does exist. Users should take proper precautions, no matter the operating system in use.

The first steps in protection are to keep the operating system and applications up to date and install reliable antivirus software. Exercise caution when downloading files or clicking on suspicious links. Being aware of potential security risks and practicing safe browsing habits is crucial. This is true for Mac users, just as it is for any other platform.

4: More MegaPixels (MPs) provide better image quality.

Savvy marketing creates a lot of this fake news by touting their best features as ‘the only thing to look for’ in a product like theirs. For example, when it comes to smartphone cameras, people have been led to believe that more megapixels equal better image quality. This is a common misconception.

While the number of megapixels is an essential factor in determining the resolution of an image, it is certainly not the sole indicator of image quality. Other factors play significant roles, such as:

The size of individual pixels

Lens quality

Image processing algorithms

Low-light performance

While a camera with a higher megapixel count may produce larger images, it does not guarantee superior clarity, accuracy of colors, or dynamic range.

To achieve optimal results, manufacturers often strike a balance between pixel count and other image processing technologies. When choosing a smartphone or any camera, consider the complete camera system.  Don't just focus on the megapixel count.

Separate Fact from Fiction

Since we do rely so much on technology, we all need to be able to separate fact from fiction. Debunking common tech myths can help you to make informed decisions and maximize the potential of your digital experiences. An understanding of the truth behind these myths helps you use technology more effectively and help you better protect your privacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you be tracked in incognito mode?

A: Yes. When you go to a website, it will see you as a new user unless you log in. As Google Chrome Help states, incognito mode “(will not) prevent you from telling a website who you are. If you sign in to any website in Incognito mode, that site will know that you’re the one browsing and can keep track of your activities from that moment on.”

Q: Can someone see my Internet history if I use their Wi-Fi?

A: Yes. The Wi-Fi owner can see the browsing information performed on their Wi-Fi network because they have access to the admin panel from the Wi-Fi router, which also means they can see your log information on your router.

Chrome itself can also track you.

Q: What MP is a good phone camera?

A:  For standard use, 12 to 16 MP (MegaPixel) is enough. A high MP count is useful when cropping photos, but other factors, like sensor size, which decides how much light to capture for a set shutter speed, can affect the picture quality as much or more than the MP count.

Q: Is Mac or PC better for cyber security?

A: There isn't a definitive answer because it all depends on the specific user's needs. Whereas both operating systems have reliable strengths, their respective weaknesses could influence user preferences. The mere fact that are almost 4 times more PCs than Macs simply means that cybercriminals are more likely to target PCs.

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