Did your parents ever tell you to get off the computer or phone if there was a thunderstorm when you were younger and you had no idea why but you reluctantly obliged? Or did your friends at school tell you that it is impossible for an Apple MAC to get a computer virus?
Technology has come a long way in such a short amount of time and it is often hard to keep up with what information is real and what information isn’t. And lets be honest, if your parents told you something as a child time and time again, it sticks and becomes a habit and you never question it.
Below we have come up with 6 true or false ideas about computers and computer systems. And just to be clear, yes, an Apple MAC can get a virus. You are not immune!
1.”You need to turn off your computer at night” False
This used to be true for older computers. You would turn it off to clear the cache and also prolong the life of the different parts that make up your computer. These days it is perfectly safe to put it into sleep mode when it’s not in use. However, Cymax strongly recommends and encourages that their clients restart their computer every now and then. This will help with crucial updates that your computer is trying to push though such as patches/updates which will protect your machine from viruses but also program updates to help your system run a bit more smoothly. So keep in mind, if it has been over a week since you last shut down or restarted, it might be time to power down.
2. “My computer is slow, I must have a virus!” False
Before you panic that all your photos will go missing and you need to buy a new computer, this is not always the case. There can be many reasons why your computer might be slow. You might have too many photos on your computer which could be taking up all your space and therefore slowing the whole system down or you might have older software installed on your computer. It is best to get an IT professional to have a look at why your system could be slow and they can help isolate the problem and get your machine running like a dream again.
3. “You need to wait 10 seconds before you turn your computer on again after turning it off” True
Although you think your computer is off, there are often background processes which run that take just that little bit longer to shut down. So if you have been asked by your tech or are performing a restart of your computer, it’s best to count to 10 before tuning your machine back on to perform a proper reboot. And we don’t mean a quick count to 10. We are talking about 1 mississippi, 2 mississippi…
4. “I need to remember to defrag my computer more frequently” False
Now a days computers have an inbuilt tool which will defragment your computer automatically, so there is no need to carry this task out manually. If for some reason this does need to be carried out, make sure you get an IT professional to do it for you as they will know when and how and what hardware this can be preformed on.
5. “Don’t forget to safely eject your USB drive!” Both true and false
As of 2018 the new version of Windows (Windows 10) allows you to just pull out your USB drive without a question being asked. If you have a version installed on your computer that is earlier than Windows 10, Cymax suggests you do select to remove you Flash Drive safely. Reason for this is because there are still commands which are being performed in the background. Pulling your USB out will cause these commands to crash and could corrupt any files which you have transferred.
6. And finally “I’d better get off my computer (lightning and thunder banging and crashing outside)” True
If we are talking about a desktop computer which is plugged into the wall and into a modem. Then yes, it is safer to switch off and unplug. This is because even if a lightning strikes near a power-line, this is enough energy to increase the amount of power into your cables which is enough to fry anything that is plugged in. This means it can have the potential to melt/burn your modem and your computer. In saying this, it is safe to use a laptop during a thunderstorm. So long as you’re using it inside and not have it plugged into mains or have an ethernet cable plugged in for the internet.
Of course like all things in computing, there can be many variables, however for the most part, it’s pretty safe to say that you can thank your parents that you haven’t lost any files because of a power surge and you can go tell that friend that they are wrong about Macs. If you do have any further questions about the health of your computer or system, be sure to call Cymax as you could do more harm than good to your system if you attempt things yourself.