Computers are like anything else. Myths and urban legends have built up over time, passed from person to person. Some myths once had a grain of truth but are no longer true thanks to technological progress. Here are the top five PC myths that hope will keep you up to date.

Hackers Are Trying to Hack Your PC

Attacks are automated. Your computer absolutely could get malware that attempts to log your keystrokes and steal your personal information. You probably will get the occasional phishing email trying to get your credit card number, bank details, or social security number.

Attacks are automated. Your computer absolutely could get malware that attempts to log your keystrokes and steal your personal information. You probably will get the occasional phishing email trying to get your credit card number, bank details, or social security number.

Unless you’re a high-value target — say, at a big business or government agency — there are no hackers out there attempting targeted hacks on your computer. Attackers are taking the shotgun approach.

There Are “Clean” Windows Freeware Download Websites

The Windows Freeware download scene is bad and getting worse. Even SourceForge has turned to the dark side. All freeware download sites are bad these days. Big download sites like Download.com, Softpedia, FileHippo, and SourceForge often add their garbage to the freeware they offer for download.

If you’re downloading from a program’s official website, you’ll often have junkware pushed on you in the installer, too. Ninite is the only trustworthy centralized Windows freeware site we’ve found, and it offers a fairly limited selection of software.

Automatic Updates Will Always Break Your PC

Some people go out of their way to disable Windows updates and even browser updates because they’re worried about things “breaking.” Overall, automatic updates are good. They close security holes and keep your computer working properly. Breakages are rare and security holes are a bigger concern.

Clearing Your Cache Will Speed Up Your PC

Clearing Your Cache Will Speed Up Your PCSome applications store cache files, which are offline copies of files they’ve already downloaded. They hold onto these files in case they need them again, so they can be accessed from your hard drive instead of re-downloaded, saving time and bandwidth.

Your web browser has its own cache full of bits of downloaded web pages, scripts, images, and more. Regularly clearing away this cache means your browser has to redownload everything every time you use it — slowing down your web browsing. You save a bit of disk space, but that space fills right back up again with more cache files.

Your Antivirus Will Always Protect You

Most people do understand that antivirus software isn’t perfect — nothing can function 100 percent of the time. Antivirus software is a helpful, last line of defense on Windows. Most antivirus software doesn’t protect you against the obnoxious software you don’t want. Antivirus software allows obnoxious adware and spyware that inserts itself into your web browser.

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