Fake News! 5 Myths About The Internet

It’s easy to find fake news on the Internet… but what about fake news about the Internet itself? There are plenty of myths swirling around the Internet.  The topics range from its creation, what you can accomplish, technical elements, and so much more.

The collective society that makes up the Internet has managed to, year after year, preserve some utterly wrong beliefs, also.

Al Gore did not invent the Internet, ok? But hours of late night show jokes and Internet memes have been made based on this belief.

Since it’s the age of “fake news”, let’s see if we can find some truth behind the falsehoods. Here are five popular myths about the Internet, debunked!

Al Gore Invented the Internet

No, he didn’t. That’s the first order of business.

The very first web page was created in 1960 by a bunch of scientists at CERN. The technology was developed to expedite information sharing between scientists and researchers.

The man who invented the World Wide Web? Drum roll, please!

A British scientist named Tim Berners-Lee developed the Internet we know and love in 1989.

Why do people think Al Gore invented the Internet? Al Gore blathered on about taking the initiative to invent the Internet in a campaign interview for CNN. You can read the transcript here. Clearly, he means something else than what he said. But with campaign interviews, the words politicians say can come back to haunt them.

Want to see the very first website? Click here.

Clearing Your Cache Will Increase Internet Speed

Nope. Clear your cache all you want, but it won’t make a difference in Internet speed.

What does clearing the cache do? It removes the items you no longer need. It also allows you to view the most current version of a site you are working on, if you’re designing a page. Keep that up as a practice but take a different approach for Internet speed.

Here are some tips to speed up your ‘puter:

  • Position your router in an unobstructed area.
  • Shorten and replace cables that connect the router.
  • Scan for viruses.
  • Evaluate router and replace it if its ancient.
  • Free apartment Internet is free because it sucks. Pay and get a decent speed!

Here are more ways to speed up that router and more information on how to manage a slow wi-fi connection.

I Am Too Unimportant for Hackers to Notice

Until all the hackers in the world personally tell you that your information is off limits, you are just as vulnerable as the rest of us. This “it won’t happen to me” thinking is why companies are rolling in cash from identity theft products.

You may think your banking information is safe, but what about all those personal email addresses in your email address book? What about all the personal history stored on your browser? What about your system itself, that can be used to build a network for hackers going after another target?

Hackers will get into any system that they can access. Assume that you are vulnerable and take steps to protect your system. It’s so important to be proactive with computer security rather than being hacked and working through data theft afterward. The results can cause devastating financial loss.

Nobody Can Spy On You Through Your Webcam

Oh yes, they can and they will.  This is the reason why Edward Snowden leaked how the NSA long ago gained access to your iPhone cameras. The creep factor of the Internet knows no bounds.

Think of webcams and mobile device phones as potential windows to Internet peeping toms. Again, until all the weirdos on the Internet tell you that they’re not interested in spying on you, consider yourself fair game.

Need more proof? Read this article about an entire site dedicated to webcam spying.

You can still believe in a world of rainbows and unicorns. Just make sure you accept the reality that there are trolls living under the bridge, too. Cover webcams and take steps to secure your cell phone. 

Sharks Can Disable Your Internet Connection

Once upon a time, a shark bit a subsea cable and the Internet lost its mind. You can see the video below.

The shark in the viral video took one bite and decided the cable wasn’t to his taste. However, the damage was already done. Media sources such as the NY Times began printing articles about sharks taking down the Internet.

The truth is, the majority of subsea cables are damaged by ship anchors, fishing equipment, and natural disasters. A mere 1% of incidents where people lost their Internet were due to ocean life messing with the cables. The statistics on damaged cables point to submarines, also, as potential cable destroyers.

If you lose your Internet, blame a fishing boat or a typhoon.  Sharks, as it turns out, have other things on their agenda.

A Shark Broke My Internet

SUMMARY

The Internet is an important tool to gather information and connect to the world around us.

The irony is, so many of the urban legends of the Internet can be dispelled by researching the truth on… the Internet. With a few clicks, it’s easy to dispel fact from fiction. This is especially important with issues of Internet security. Don’t believe the hype, do your research. Here’s a list of some excellent cyber security sources.

What are some Internet myths you’ve heard? Share your thoughts below.

Additional Resources

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Cynda Pike is a content creator for Virtual Gurus. Silver hair, black eyebrows. I like medieval killer bunnies, Emily Dickinson and Euripides.

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