Myths are as common as anything in life, they are our way of finding meaning in those things we do not yet understand. One of the more popular spaces today, the internet, is inundated with myths, and we’re going to describe the top 7.

1. Don’t Trust Your ISP

The job of your internet service provider (ISP) is to give you access to the internet. Your ISP is able to acquire information on every page you’ve visited and every file you’ve downloaded. So that could, in theory be cause for concern, as you don’t want your dirty laundry getting out.

But this is nothing more than a myth. In reality, your ISP could track everything that you do on the internet, but it would be far too expensive for them to do, just on a whim. Which is why, child pornographers and terrorists are prioritised.

2. Position Your PC in the Living Room

Children today, have so many ways of getting online, whether it’s via a smartphone or through a friends computer, which is why, such information is now pretty much outdated. It’s probably best that a parent talks to their child about what he/she should and shouldn’t do while online and in other instances they may want to join the child in surfing the internet.

3. Private Social Networks Are Safe

I guess you can say, only the most naïve soul’s fall for this one. Maybe you think, just because Instagram is not public, that it is much safer to use.

Your confidential data is out there, for anybody to access, even if your account is private. When you register to these services, like Facebook for example, you are required to enter your full name, thus, being private doesn’t necessarily mean being anonymous.

When signing into your account, data must be provided for verification purposes. Like your phone number or date of birth. This information is then dispersed across several servers around the world. Other things, like pictures you post online, typically will remain online forever, even if you erase them, so that’s another thing to consider.

4. Under 13s Can’t Use Social Network Sites

Although, the vast majority of these social network sites will stipulate that you must be at least 13 to use them, such as Facebook, studies have shown that age limits mean very little. Over 35% of those aged between 9 and 12 years of age, have their own social network profile. Some believe that age limits should be scrapped altogether, in order to allow for more honesty and greater protection.

5. People You Meet Online Are Strangers

Most people’s online contacts are made up of people that we know face-to-face. Only a small fraction, no more than 9% of the average individual’s contacts, is made up of people they met on the internet, and an even smaller number have bad experiences meeting people on the internet.

6. All Information Online Is Free

For many people, they believe that all the information they are able to source online is free, but the reality is, just because you didn’t pay for it, with real currency, it doesn’t mean you are not paying for it, in reality. Today, you will find an endless supply of internet offers, which includes services, programs, applications and social networks, all presented to you, as free.

However, when you enter your personal information into these products, you are in essence paying for the product. In other instances, you may use a product that has ads built into it. The ads in these programs may also be tailored to your interests, to increase your chances of clicking on them, which the software developer will in turn, profit from.

In other cases, if you want to remove these ads, you can, but you’ll usually have to sign up to some premium version, which more often than not, cost you money.

7. You Can Get Rich Online

If you have a deep passion for something, then you can profit from it, otherwise, such myths should be discarded. There are millions of spam emails and advertisements out there, promising to make you rich online.

The internet does provide for one of the most effective places for you to improve business visibility, but you shouldn’t expect that utilising Twitter for your business or watching sleepy cats online is going to make you super rich. Today, you will find many big social media individuals that make significant amounts of money, but to get to that position requires a lot of hard work and background knowledge and understanding.

That aside, the internet isn’t a place where all your worries can be turned to gold. Making money, no matter how, takes, time, patience, hard work and smarts.

Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website