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12 Silly Things People Believe About Computers

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Some users are like little children or small animals: they require constant supervision, hand holding and care, else they may end up hurting themselves or damaging company property. Who are these users? Well, typically they are white collar office workers who have been using computers as their primary work tool for at least a decade or more, and yet still have absolutely no clue how to operate them or how they work. In other words, the people who fill up the help desk queue with tickets every single day of your life.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people in the business world not only do not know how to do basic day-to-day computing, but have absolutely no idea how computers and internet work in general. To them, computers are mysterious black boxes with magic inside, and networks are strange, almost supernatural hyperspace portals between computers that allow magic, gnomes and unicorns to pass through and make things happen on the internet. They hold strange, almost superstitious beliefs about technology that have no grounding in reality whatsoever. Today I would like to talk about these common myths and misconceptions.

#1: Hacking is magic

Mostly due to portrayal of hacking in popular culture, most people who work with technology every day have very distorted view of computer security. I think the conceptual model they are working from is that computers have these magical barriers (firewalls) that protect them from unspecified dangers, but which can be circumvented by typing really fast without using the space bar. In essence, no security system is safe and a skillful hacker can break into just about any computer in less than five minutes if he is good enough.

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