10 Tech Myths You Need to Stop Believing

Your old phone is worthless. Privacy mode protects your privacy. Charging your device all day is bad for its battery life. Are any of these true? Find out!

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Myth: AI Will Steal Your Job

Artificial intelligence (AI) may automate certain roles, but it is not expected to leave the masses unemployed. At a minimum, there certainly will be roles in data gathering, processing and oversight. And more jobs related to all the new technologies will be created.

“Although AI (artificial intelligence) is likely to make certain jobs obsolete, it is primed to create just as many, if not more jobs,” explains Akash Ganapathi, co-founder and CEO of Trill A.I., a financial technology company in North Carolina that closed in 2020.

“While the loss of certain types of jobs seems scary, it’s important to remember that there have always been certain roles that fall to the wayside with the rise of a new technology,” Ganapathi says. “With the steam engine, with the assembly line, with the Internet, many jobs became unnecessary. But these technologies brought with them economic growth and opportunities for new jobs, and people adapted.”

Plus, these robots will make cutting the lawn a thing of the past.

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Myth: Apple Makes Old Devices Slower To Get You To Buy New Ones

There is a little truth to this. In 2017, Apple admitted its phones with older batteries run slower with each iOS update. But Jeff Kelley, an iOS Developer with Detroit Labs, doesn’t see anything nefarious.

“You may have noticed that your phone tends to get slower when a new version of the device is released,” he says. “Some may believe it’s an intentional effort by tech companies forcing you to upgrade, but there’s likely a better explanation.

“New versions of the operating system and the apps that run on it are designed to work seamlessly with the hardware inside new models. So it makes sense that older devices start to become more sluggish since the software isn’t optimized to run on them.”

Here’s how the tech giant explained it in a statement to The Verge: “Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.” So the likely solution to phone issues is replacing the battery, not the entire device.

These quirky gifts are perfect for any gadget lover you know.

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Myth: Cutting the Cord Will Save You Tons of Money

“This is a myth just because it completely depends on your spending, and whether you keep close tabs on it,” says Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing with DealNews.

“If you quit a $100 cable package but pay for several streaming services or movie rentals, you might end up paying nearly the same as a cable subscription. You probably will save money by cutting the cord, but you should still monitor your spending to make sure it’s as much as you think.”

These are the TV alternatives your cable company doesn’t want you to know about.

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Myth: Web Surfing in Privacy Mode Is Private

“A common misconception among consumers is that surfing the web in private browsing mode is safer or more private than using your browser normally,” says Joel Wallenstrom, a cybersecurity expert. “Traditionally, private browsing mode prevents the websites you visit from appearing in your search history.

“It is important to realize that it does not necessarily protect against malware, prevent your Internet service provider from seeing the website that you visited, or stop third-parties from tracking your movements around the web.”

If you’re looking for that type of enhanced privacy, a combination of ad-blocking software, a referrer control and a virtual private network (VPN) will do the trick. There are good, free extensions available for the first two, but you’ll need to pay for a VPN service if you don’t want your browsing history sold to third-parties as payment for the “free” service.

On the other hand, these are 15 credit card perks you don’t know about.

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Myth: The Newest Products Are Always the Best

“New doesn’t always mean better,” explains tech expert Sarah Graham. “Newer versions of tech devices come out every day, even when the previous version was better.

“Take the iPhone X for example. It has flaws including an easily cracked back screen that is expensive to repair, and it has screen function problems when used in cold weather. These problems are not common in many cell phones including the last few generations of the iPhone. So getting a past generation iPhone is actually better and more worth it than buying the iPhone X.”

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Myth: Using Your Smartphone for Work Is Totally Safe

“With ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policies at workplaces, you’re given access to IPs and other data that are crucial to how your company operates,” explains Dan Moyer, marketing manager for Cal Net Technology Group.

“As a result, organizations need to rethink their defensive models and get proactive with their approach to IT, especially when it comes to their disaster recovery plans. After all, you don’t want to be the one who brought down your company’s network for an entire day simply because you clicked on a phishing email over the weekend!”

A plan that relies on employees working from home for an unspecified amount of time won’t survive attacks that target key individuals or remove connectivity altogether. If your company has a BYOD policy, educate yourself on the best practices to avoid cybersecurity threats.

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Myth: Charging Your Phone To 100 Percent Hurts Your Battery Life

“It’s not bad to charge your phone to 100 percent, just be sure to take it off the charger when it’s at capacity,” says Matt Paliafito, senior category manager at Batteries Plus Bulbs. “The largest drain on your battery comes from brightness and streaming videos. Don’t wait till your phone dies to charge it — your battery has a finite number of cycles and every time it dies, another one gets used up!”

Plus, learn how smart home technology has evolved over the years.

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Myth: You’re Not Worth Targeting for Cybercrime

“The biggest myth by far is ‘I am not a target,’ ” explains Jason McNew, CISSP, CEO and founder of Stronghold Cyber Security. “Unfortunately, everyone and everything is a target, because the tools that hackers, cybercriminals, and state-backed actors such as China’s PLA (Peoples Liberation Army) use are largely automated.

“Even if the targets are not useful or interesting, they will break in and steal data anyway, and will usually leave behind a back door of some kind, to use for attacks against other networks.”

These are 14 home technology hacks you’ll want to know.

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Myth: Your Outdated Phones Are Worthless

“The average American household has $265 worth of unused gadgets — those that are lying around, collecting dust in junk drawers,” says Brian Morris from Flipsy.com.

“iPhones tend to hold a lot of value, and you can score $55 for an old Galaxy S5 or $26 for an old BlackBerry Torch 9850. Many people do not sell their old phones; in fact, last Christmas we estimated nearly $21 billion went unclaimed by people who did not sell their old phones after receiving new phones for Christmas gifts.” Plus, these are a few things you should know about recycling electronics.

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Myth: The Cloud Is in the Sky

“In its simplest form, the Cloud is a metaphor for the Internet and the delivery of computing services through it,” says Nikki Smith, marketing manager at Virtual DCS.

“These files aren’t directly stored on your phone or laptop, but on a server where you access them online. These servers or ‘clouds’ can be stored anywhere in the world — as long as they’re on the ground. Quite a lot of people assume all their files are stored in the actual sky!”

Up next, check out these six awesome home tech items to add to your home.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest

Joe McKinley
Dan Bova is the digital editorial director of Entrepreneur.com. He previously worked at Jimmy Kimmel Live, Maxim and Spy magazine. He currently writes a weekly humor column for The Journal News and USA Today.