Share on Facebook

A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

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!

Tech-MythsPhonlamai Photo/Shutterstock

Myth: AI will steal your job

“Although AI is likely to make certain jobs obsolete, it is primed to create just as many, if not more jobs. 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. 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. AI may be able to automate certain roles, but it will not leave the masses unemployed. There will certainly be roles in data gathering, processing, and oversight at a minimum. Not to mention jobs related to all the new technologies that will be created as a result.” —Akash Ganapathi is the co-founder and CEO of Trill A.I. However, robots might be coming for your jobs, guys, here’s why.


Myth: Apple makes old devices slower to get you to buy new ones

“You may have noticed that your phone tends to get slower when a new version of the device is released. 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.” —Jeff Kelley, iOS Developer with Detroit Labs

However, Apple recently confirmed that phones with older batteries will suffer from performance issues. In a statement to The Verge, the tech giant said, “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.” In other words, the likely solution to phone issues is to replace the battery, not the entire device.

Tech-MythsKaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock

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. If you quit a $100 cable package, but pay for several streaming services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu, as well as standalone networks like HBO, Showtime, Starz, and others, 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.” —Lindsay Sakraida, Director of Content Marketing with DealNews

Tech-MythsBillion Photos/Shutterstock

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. 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 referer control, and a virtual private network (VPN) and 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.” —Joel Wallenstrom, cybersecurity expert. If you ate at this popular fast food chain, your credit card information may have been stolen.


Myth: The newest products are always the best

“New doesn’t always mean better. 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.” —Sarah Graham, tech expert.


Myth: Using your smartphone for work is totally safe

“With ‘Bring Your Own Device’, you’re given access to IPs and other data that are crucial to how your company operates. 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 unspecific amount of time won’t survive attacks that target key individuals or remove connectivity altogether. Plus, who knows how much revenue you’re potentially costing your company due to diminished productivity. If your company has a BYOD policy in place, make sure you educate yourself on the best practices to avoid cybersecurity threats.” —Dan Moyer, Marketing Manager for Cal Net Technology Group


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. 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! On that note, it’s OK to keep your phone at a low percentage.” —Matt Paliafito, Senior Category Manager at Batteries Plus Bulbs. Delete this app right now to save your phone’s battery life.


Myth: You’re not worth targeting for cybercrime

“The biggest myth by far is ‘I am not a target’. 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, and look for targets 24/7/365. 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. Imagine whales patrolling the ocean, just vacuuming up krill. You are the krill.” —Jason McNew, CISSP, CEO & Founder of Stronghold Cyber Security. Here are 20 cyber secrets hackers don’t want you to know.

Tech-MythsPino Magliani/Shutterstock

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. 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.” —Brian Morris from

Tech-Mythsdetchana wangkheeree/Shutterstock

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. 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! A customer of ours took her laptop on holiday, sitting on the beach without any Internet she rang us up and complained that she could see the sky but couldn’t access any of her files!” —Nikki Smith, Marketing Manager at Virtual DCS

Joe McKinley
Joe McKinley is a regular contributor to Reader's Digest, covering cars, careers, tech and more.