What does it mean to "manage" my data?

 

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What does it mean to "manage" my data?

A summer's day in the garden with a laptop computer

What's coming up

In this activity, you'll learn about managing data.

You'll discover why it's a good idea to know how much data you're using each month.

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A graphic of a data plan

Your data allowance

Your home or mobile internet connection includes a data plan. Part of that plan includes details of exactly how much data you can use in a month without incurring any additional charges. This is known as your data allowance.

Your internet provider tracks your data usage very carefully.

Now we'll explain why it's a good idea for you to track your data usage, also.

You use data all the time

Every time you use the internet, it takes up some of your data allowance.

If you keep an eye on how much data you've used, it's easier to make sure you don't use too much data. We'll tell you more about how to find this information in the next activity.

A graphic showing what activities have used up the most data
A graph showing how much data is used each day

Daily data use

The amount of data you are allowed to use each month is always the same, but the amount of data you actually use each day will differ.

Some days you will use a lot more data than others. For instance, if you watch a movie one day, that will use a lot more data than hours and hours of reading ordinary web pages.

Data use depends on what you do, not how long you do it for.

Data in reserve

If you keep an eye on how much data you use, and check every few days, you will know if you still have enough data allowance left to do the things you want for the rest of your billing month.

For example, if you watch a few movies in the first two weeks of your billing month, there might not be enough data to watch a third or fourth movie.

But maybe your allowance is large enough for you to watch another movie. It's hard to guess, but if you track your own data use, you can know for sure.

A graphic showing data used and data left for a week in April
An airline passenger checking his emails before taking off to somewhere exotic

Well done!

This is the end of the What does it mean to "manage" my data? activity.

You've learned that managing your data means choosing what to do on the internet, so you don't end up using more data than your data plan allows. And you've learned the best way to manage your data is to keep an eye on how much data you've used, over the course of the month.

In the next activity, Seeing how much data I use, you'll learn about the tools you can use to track your data use each month.