While some of us may remember the times when we were just starting to understand what "Internet", "World Wide Web", and things of this nature meant, as we were just starting to get Internet access on our computers at home; some of us have never known a time when we couldn't browse the Internet easily.
But whether we think back to the early days of widespread Internet access, all the way up to our current time when surfing the Internet in any number of ways is commonplace, the same principle is and has always applied:
Whether you are on your smartphone, laptop, tablet, desktop—or whatever—you are downloading files. When you click on a link or a button on a website, you are downloading files. When you enter you username, your e-mail address, your password, and surf around, you are downloading files. When you enter a search term or any group of words on a search engine, you are downloading files.
One part of this is fairly straightforward—we know that when we are downloading files, we have to be careful about what we download, because we do not want to download files that are harmful to our device on which we are surfing the Internet. This is very true.
But not a lot of us have thought about what else is happening whenever we are using a browser to surf the Internet. The largest tech companies around the world, which are household names to us, depend on you to enter in your log-in data, and then surf around not only *their website and their app* (thereby collecting information on what you click and tap), but that you also will then jump to other websites and apps (where those websites and apps also then collect information on you). The larger tech companies do this. They do this to all of us.