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"12 of the Biggest PC Myths That Just Won't Die", via HowToGeek


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#1 Aura

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 11:58 AM

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.

A few myths are simple misunderstandings, while others exist to help people make money from you. Windows alone has many unnecessary Windows-tweaking myths build up around it. No, you dont need to disable services or delete your pagefile.


Source: http://www.howtogeek.com/219555/12-of-the-biggest-pc-myths-that-just-wont-die/

I only disagree with Number 2 since there's still a lot of official websites for programs and other websites that offer downloads without anything in it. BleepingComputer is one, GeeksToGo as well. Other than that, the rest is pretty much spot on.

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#2 Sintharius

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 12:20 PM

Even BC and GTG do not offer the full range of software that download portals like CNET does, so I would say that How To Geek isn't far off the mark.

#3 Aura

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 12:23 PM

There's a difference between saying that there's no free software download website, and that there is, but just a few too.

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#4 Grinler

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 01:33 PM

We make it a point to NOT INCLUDE any software that bundles adware or adware. In fact, we have removed software when it does. Granted we do not have the same library of files that Majorgeeks or the other sites, but it's still incorrect as our files are clean. Hell, if I had more time I would be adding downloads daily and they would all be clean too! Maybe someone should point that out to them?

With that said, we do have our share of ads in that section that sneak in unfortunately.

Edited by Grinler, 16 June 2015 - 01:38 PM.


#5 Animal

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 01:38 PM

The latest significant developer to take issue with bundled crapware with a mirror/hosting sites is Notepad++. They are leaving once respected sourceforgeSee their announcement and reasoning here: https://notepad-plus-plus.org/news/notepad-plus-plus-leaves-sf.html

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#6 Sintharius

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 01:39 PM

I posted in the discussion of that thread... not sure if the How To Geek author is going to read it.

#7 Aura

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 01:41 PM

Maybe someone should point that out to them?


The Owner of HowToGeek is on BleepingComputer, we can send him a PM to tell him :P

And I didn't know that Notepad++ separated itself from SourceForge. It seems that the website is now inaccessible at work for whatever reason there is. And it's been for days now. I'll read it once I get home, thank you.

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#8 rp88

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 03:41 PM

I must say that, interesting though the how to geek article is, I also think it has some flaws. Some of the 12 myths don't seem to be myths at all, atleast not in my experience. Perhaps they are truths which have become mislabelled as myths, that can happen. Or maybe the key "mythical" thing about some of the "myths" is that they are stated as being absolute rules covering all possible circumstances with no exceptions, and it is an over insistance on them being absolutely true which makes them mythical. I would rate the 12 "myths" like this...

1.The article is more-or-less right about this, but even though they are unlikely to be after you individidually you still need to take a lot of steps to prevent yourself being one of their victims.
2.The article forgets to mention that the developer's website, especially for OPEN SOURCE programs, usually has a version without bundled junk.
3.Although you might not NEED to turn your computer off EVERY night, doing so doesn't do the computer any harm, and letting computers cool down like this is a sensible thing to do from time to time.
4.Although some updates are clearly crucial (the security ones) there are risks associated with letting all operating system updates be fully automatic, and some windows updates recently have done things which some users certainly did not want. It is my personal view that "check automatically but ask me before download or installation" is a better setting to have updates on, having this setting chosen has done be more good than harm. It is true that most of the updates won't brek your computer, but because of the very small number which might, and the small number which do unpleasant things (remember the update KB2973544 which forcibly upgraded users of 8.0 to 8.1), having updates on the "check automatically but ask me before download or installation" is wiser in my view. One must ofcourse set oneself reminders to go to windows update in the control panel and install ALL the SECURITY updates on offer as well as browsing the descriptions of the rest to see which are likely to be helpful.
5.IE might not be as bad as it has been in the past, BUT is still less secure than firefox with noscript. It must also be noted that blocking adverts and preventing automatic loading of flash content (both of which are important for security and improve speed) are a lot simpler in firefox and chrome than in IE.
6.The article seems to be correct here.
7.The article seems to be correct here.
8.The article is right here, the number of scams where the "codec" "you need to watch this video" is actually a virus is huge. And VLC is excellent.
9.The article is more-or-less correct here, viruses DO cause problems with computers but so do MANY OTHER THINGS.
10.The article is correct, for true protecton you need an antivirus(plenty of choices here), plus an antimalware(like malwarebytes), plus a second opinion scanner(malwarebytes can also be this, so can ESET online scanner), plus a script blocker in the browser(like noscript), plus an anti-exploit tool "behind" the browser (like malwarebytes anti-exploit), plus an up-to-date browser, plus up-to-date plugins, plus all the security updates on your OS up-to-date, plus the file explorer set NOT to "hide full file extensions for known file types"(this guards against viruses pretending to be other file types), plus good backups of all your files incase something goes wrong, plus a few system images to restore your operating system to a clean state if something goes wrong(windows has a toll to make these buried within control panel), and you need some GOOD PRACTICES as well. And EVEN THEN all this isn't 100% reliable, some things MIGHT still get round all those defences.
11.I think the article might be wrong here, one certainly doesn't need to clear their cache on a VERY frequent basis, but clearing it now and then does seem to speed things up in MY experience. Temp file cleaning certainly speeds things up, because temp files which are left over when a program closes are usually no longer of any importance, they were created by the program which made them purely to hold some data it thought it might need again during THAT session of running.
12.The article is absolutely right here.

Edited by rp88, 17 June 2015 - 03:48 PM.

Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#9 Aura

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 04:17 PM

1.The article is more-or-less right about this, but even though they are unlikely to be after you individidually you still need to take a lot of steps to prevent yourself being one of their victims.


Hackers have no interest in hacking some random's user computer unless it's personal. Like the article said, unless you are a high value target, there's no hacker that will spend hours trying to find a hole in a random system and try to get in. It would be a complete waste of time for them.

2.The article forgets to mention that the developer's website, especially for OPEN SOURCE programs, usually has a version without bundled junk.


I agree with that.

3.Although you might not NEED to turn your computer off EVERY night, doing so doesn't do the computer any harm, and letting computers cool down like this is a sensible thing to do from time to time.


Some computers are meant to be running constantly (servers for example), so turning off your computer is pretty useful to refresh the caches and save money on your electric bill, that's mostly it. You don't have to, it's just recommended.

4.Although some updates are clearly crucial (the security ones) there are risks associated with letting all operating system updates be fully automatic, and some windows updates recently have done things which some users certainly did not want. It is my personal view that "check automatically but ask me before download or installation" is a better setting to have updates on, having this setting chosen has done be more good than harm. It is true that most of the updates won't brek your computer, but because of the very small number which might, and the small number which do unpleasant things (remember the update KB2973544 which forcibly upgraded users of 8.0 to 8.1), having updates on the "check automatically but ask me before download or installation" is wiser in my view. One must ofcourse set oneself reminders to go to windows update in the control panel and install ALL the SECURITY updates on offer as well as browsing the descriptions of the rest to see which are likely to be helpful.


No comment on that since we've been over the Windows Update subject over and over again.

5.IE might not be as bad as it has been in the past, BUT is still less secure than firefox with noscript. It must also be noted that blocking adverts and preventing automatic loading of flash content (both of which are important for security and improve speed) are a lot simpler in firefox and chrome than in IE.


A hardened Internet Explorer 11 is still pretty decent. Anyway the point here wasn't to show that it's better than any browser, but that it wasn't "laughing stock" anymore.

6.The article seems to be correct here.
7.The article seems to be correct here.
8.The article is right here, the number of scams where the "codec" "you need to watch this video" is actually a virus is huge. And VLC is excellent.


I agree.

9.The article is more-or-less correct here, viruses DO cause problems with computers but so do MANY OTHER THINGS.


This point doesn't deny that malware do in fact slow down a system, but that it's not the only cause.

10.The article is correct, for true protecton you need an antivirus(plenty of choices here), plus an antimalware(like malwarebytes), plus a second opinion scanner(malwarebytes can also be this, so can ESET online scanner), plus a script blocker in the browser(like noscript), plus an anti-exploit tool "behind" the browser (like malwarebytes anti-exploit), plus an up-to-date browser, plus up-to-date plugins, plus all the security updates on your OS up-to-date, plus the file explorer set NOT to "hide full file extensions for known file types"(this guards against viruses pretending to be other file types), plus good backups of all your files incase something goes wrong, plus a few system images to restore your operating system to a clean state if something goes wrong(windows has a toll to make these buried within control panel), and you need some GOOD PRACTICES as well. And EVEN THEN all this isn't 100% reliable, some things MIGHT still get round all those defences.


The "Hide extension for known file type" won't guard against anything. It'll just allow the user to see what a file type really is (and even there). It's for user awareness.

11.I think the article might be wrong here, one certainly doesn't need to clear their cache on a VERY frequent basis, but clearing it now and then does seem to speed things up in MY experience. Temp file cleaning certainly speeds things up, because temp files which are left over when a program closes are usually no longer of any importance, they were created by the program which made them purely to hold some data it thought it might need again during THAT session of running.


There's a difference between a browser web cache and the temp files on a system. This article is talking about the web cache, not the temp files.

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#10 Mike.Tech

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 05:53 PM

BC doesn't stand to make money from your download, so I agree with Aura.

 

Constructive criticism:

Your computer absolutely could get malware that attempts to log your keystrokes and steal your personal information.

Speak for yourself. Not here it doesn't.

 

Computers can be set to automatically hibernate after a while, and they’ll use no power in this mode
Power is still consumed as the supply is active. Some very little, some quite a lot.

 

Automatic updates aren’t as scary as they seem.

The amount of botched updates that keep appearing suggests otherwise.

 

But recent versions of Internet Explorer are actually pretty good. Internet Explorer isn’t the laughing stock it used to be.

That's why it's now second rate, even by MS, and howtogeek rely on Chrome

 

Third-party defragmentation utilities just aren’t worth paying for, either.

Correct. free offerings blow them away.

 

Even Symantec — makes of Norton Antivirus — have said that antivirus software fails to stop most cyberattacks.

That's why I don't have one, but not all AV are equal, and aren't Symantec shooting themselves in the foot?

 

Regularly clearing away this cache means your browser has to redownload everything every time you use it — it’ll slow down your web browsing.

Only if you do the same thing all the time. The browser checks for a new version anyway doesn't it? I clear all history, yet BC loads in an instant. In any case, it's only once per session, and I don't want useless files clogging my cache. Not even noticable unless you're on dialup or something.



#11 jcgriff2

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 03:55 AM

Even Symantec — makes of Norton Antivirus — have said that antivirus software fails to stop most cyberattacks.
That's why I don't have one, but not all AV are equal, and aren't Symantec shooting themselves in the foot?

 

They did that a long time ago after sticking it in their... mouth. :0

 

Maybe Norton Antivirus by itself is not bad, but add in the 3rd party firewall for NIS & N360 and you have a disaster waiting to happen on your hands.

 

So many app-hangs, app-crashes and BSODs are attributable to NIS/N360 and many of the other Internet Security Suites.

 

They were fine in XP (assuming one was into excessive paging activity due to lack of adequate RAM), but once Vista came out with the 2 user tokens separated for non-Admin and Admin, the 3rd party firewalls began to wreak havoc on many systems.

 

I've seen many "typical" app-crashes/hangs involve *whatever* app (often svchost though), ntdll.dll + 0xc0000005 (0xc5) exception error (memory access violation, a.k.a., "access denied") caused by 3rd party firewalls which tend to block local NETBIOS ports thus causing system services (svchost) to hang and crash.

 

As far as the BSODs are concerned related to the Internet Security Suites, Norton or other ISS drivers (especially those related to 3rd party firewall) almost always is able to  escape from the scene of the crash, leaving some other poor unsuspecting driver to take the blame. 

 

Apologies for going off thread topic.  Seems to be one of my specialties! 

 

 


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#12 Norseman143

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Posted 21 June 2015 - 06:35 PM

The latest significant developer to take issue with bundled crapware with a mirror/hosting sites is Notepad++. They are leaving once respected sourceforgeSee their announcement and reasoning here: https://notepad-plus-plus.org/news/notepad-plus-plus-leaves-sf.html

Thats disappointing to me. I have been using Gimp for years. The reason I liked it is because students and anyone who knows how to contribute would, and it was all free

Now I know where the pups MBAM detected,came from



#13 Aura

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Posted 21 June 2015 - 07:28 PM

On the subject of SourceForge, it seems that Pale Moon also moved. Notepad++ is now on GitHub.

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#14 rp88

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Posted 22 June 2015 - 11:11 AM

Post#12, what's gone wrong with GIMP. Has something happened to it's oficial website? ( http://www.gimp.org/downloads/ the page is rather slow to load). I have GIMP on my computers, and I keep and installer exe file for a recent GIMP version on a removable drive, malwarebytes has never detected anything wrong with either of them, and GIMP has never given me any noticable troubles. Or has there beeen an issue with bundling happening on third party sites where GIMP was available for download?


Moderators, if the GIMP download site has started serving up any really nasty bundles or something then feel free to remove the link I have in this post.

Edited by rp88, 22 June 2015 - 12:53 PM.

Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

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#15 Aura

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Posted 22 June 2015 - 12:09 PM

GIMP dropped SourceForge some time ago, but SourceForge continued to host the installer and also wrapped their own "PUP-supported" installer around it, even thought GIMP is against it.

On a side note:

https://sourceforge.net/blog/gimp-win-project-wasnt-hijacked-just-abandoned/

Edited by Aura., 22 June 2015 - 12:11 PM.

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