Downloading and file sharing

Downloading is when you copy data, files or information from one computer system to another. This is usually done over the internet.

You might download apps and music on to your mobile device or games on to your computer.

Downloading apps from Google Play


Some examples of popular websites where you can legally download material include:

  • iTunes
  • Google Play
  • YouTube

Challenges of downloading

Downloading copyright iconsDownloading and file sharing may or may not always be legal – it depends on whether the file is protected by copyright. Copyright is the rights given to the person who owns or creates the content of the file. Those rights let that person choose how the content in that file is shared, communicated or performed.

Sharing files can be an easy way to swap music, films and even homework. But be careful on peer to peer (P2P) websites, as you don't want to download more than you bargain for. P2P websites let you share files with other people anywhere in the world. A large amount of the content shared through P2P networks is illegal, so it’s important that you check this before using these networks. 

Top tips

  • Check copyrights, terms and conditions before downloading.
  • Only download from places and people that you trust.
  • Keep your operating systems up-to-date.
  • Install and maintain anti-virus and anti-spyware software.