What is it?
Downloading means transferring data to your computer or device, either from the internet or from another device such as a digital camera. For example, a digital song or photo, or document or program.
How does it work?
When you download data, say from a website, access is granted to its location in the server where it is kept. Once it is downloaded, you are then able to determine what location in your computer you would like the data to be saved to, or you can transfer it to other devices such as an MP3 player or DVD.
Why is it useful?
Downloading has enabled internet users around the world to access data that in many ways enriches our lives, such as downloading family photos from a photo sharing website such as Flickr, an important document sent by email, or a handy educational program.
What do you need to keep in mind about your children and downloading?
Because not all downloading is legal, or is of material you wish to have on your computer, it is a good idea to discuss what is and isn't allowed. Because some popular items are illegal to download without paying, there is now a trend to streaming data, such as using a free music website to listen to a song, but not download it. With the rise of cloud computing, downloading may become less common as we become users of data, as opposed to owners of data.