Technology Myths - Busted!

Tech Talker tackles 3 persistent technology myths that can cost you money.

Eric Escobar
4-minute read
Episode #028

Technology Myths - Busted!

For this week’s episode, I’m going to do something a little different. I’m going to tackle (and bust!) 3 technology myths that seem to perpetuate throughout the web. So listen up and help spread the word!

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Myth #1: Airport Security Scanners Will Damage Your Pictures

Have you heard the one about airport security scanners and your camera? Many people worry that sending their digital camera through the scanning machine will corrupt their photos because of the x-rays that bombard the memory card in the camera. Let me be the first to assure you that I’ve never, EVER had this happen personally; no matter how many times my camera was scanned. And after doing some research, I think I’ve found the source for this myth.

In the days before digital cameras, when photos were taken on film (kids, ask your parents about that), there was indeed a very small risk that the x-rays would expose the film and ruin the images. This however was only a problem for high speed film because it was designed to be much more sensitive to light. Fortunately, your camera’s memory card isn’t made of film and doesn’t give a hoot about the x-ray. However, this scenario just carried over to the new digital technology and people continued to believe that the scanners could damage their pictures. So, in summary, your digital cameras and memory cards will make it just fine through the security x-ray scanner. Don’t worry.

Your computer will not create large banner ad proclaiming that it has been compromised.

Myth #2: You’ll Know if Your Computer Has Been Hacked or Infected

This myth is really hard to dispel because it is so ingrained in our minds. Most people assume that if their computer has been hacked or infected with malware, they will automatically know it. As if your computer will create large banner ad proclaiming that it has been compromised. I wish this were the case because it would save me from many headaches and my clients from much heartache! But unfortunately, it isn’t. Let’s break this down and look at it from a hacker’s perspective.

Say you’ve spent months (or even years) programming the perfect piece of malware to steal people’s credit card numbers, passwords, or personal information. Next, you have to find a clever way to have people install this malware on their computers, bypassing any one of a number of antiviruses they may be running on their machines. After all of this work and effort, there is no way that you, the hacker, would advertise that your program has invaded people’s computers. You’d want to keep that information as hidden as possible so that there would be no way for your victims to discover it.

That’s why it’s absolutely crucial to keep your operating system and antivirus up to date so you won’t be a victim of this sort of hacking. Just remember that although some malware will display itself, this is usually a ruse in order to pose as another, more innocent program. One popular variant of this is malware that poses as an antivirus. The goal of these programs is to get you to submit your credit card information to remove a virus. But the ones you really have to watch out for are the sneaky and silent programs such as rootkits. I suggest you check out my earlier episode Anatomy of a Virus for more!

Take the Tech Talker Quiz to test your knowledge of technology myths. 

Myth #3: Expensive Cables are Better

This one is my all-time favorite technology myths. The fact of the matter is that for digital video and audio, the brand of the cord you use simply doesn’t matter. I’m sure you’ve all been to your local computer store where you see a huge wall full of giant screen TVs. There are many things in the tech world where the more money you spend, the better the quality you get. Giant TVs tend to fall into that category, but cables do not. It doesn’t matter if the cables are gold-plated or double-coated in polyurethane, the difference just isn’t noticeable. If you don’t believe me, ask to see the performance difference next time you go to an electronics store! I bet you’ll get teary-eyed staring at the screens trying to see the difference. 

That’s all for today. I’m eager to hear your input on the myths I’ve covered in this episode. Have you experienced something different or think that one of these myths is actually true? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Do you have other technology myths you want me to look into? Head on over to the Tech Talker Facebook page and let me know or send me an email at techtalker@quickanddirtytips.com.

Until next time, I’m the Tech Talker, keeping technology simple!

Camera and Hacker images courtesy of Shutterstock.

About the Author

Eric Escobar

Tech Talker demystifies technology and cutting edge devices so that even the most tech illiterate can understand what's going on with their computer or gadget — and what to do when something goes wrong.

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