An upload is a file sent from a local computer system to a remote computer system.
While the term upload can be used to apply to any file sent from a local computer system to a remote computer system, it is most commonly applied to files uploaded from a website user's computer to a web server. The term upload is also used more generally to refer to anything posted on a website. Examples of common uploads include:
- Pictures posted on Instagram.
- Email attachments sent with a webmail client such as Gmail.
- A resume file attached to a job application and submitted in response to an online job advertisement.
- A music file posted to a music streaming service such as Soundcloud.
Upload forms are common on the Web and used by many websites as a way for users to submit media files and information that is not easy to quickly type into a website form.
Webmasters and website users both face certain risks when dealing with uploads:
- Webmasters are trusting users not to upload any content that violates any laws. In addition, webmasters are trusting that the uploaded content is not malicious since certain website applications have been compromised by a malicious uploads.
- Website users are trusting websites to handle their uploaded content appropriately. This includes protecting the privacy of sensitive information, preserving critical information, and only using the uploaded content in ways that are consistent with the user's wishes.
Webmasters are responsible for ensuring that the website's terms of service adequately relieve the website of culpability in the event that unlawful content is uploaded to the site. In addition, the terms of service should carefully define exactly how uploaded content will be used. Website users should be careful to review the terms of service provided by the website to ensure that the content they upload will be properly protected, preserved, and used responsibly.
Also See: Download
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a website be held responsible if a user uploads illegal content to the site?
While the person who uploads the content is ultimately culpable, how the website responds to notification that illegal content has been added to the site will determine whether or not the site is also at fault. It's important that websites clearly state that illegal uploads are unacceptable and will be removed upon discovery. It is also important the websites enforce this policy and move quickly to remove content that is unlawful. Websites that fail to remove illegal content can be held responsible for hosting the illegal content. Additional information on this topic is available from a variety of sources, and webmasters should be careful to research this topic thoroughly if they are running a site that allows user-generated content.
How can a website use information that I upload to the site?
While certain information, such as personal medical data, is subject to legal protections in many countries, most data can be used in whatever way a website wishes to use it as long as users are adequately notified. What this means is that the burden of ensuring that data is being used properly rests with each individual website user. If you are thinking of using a particular website or application that will require that you upload information and data in order to use the service, be careful to research the policies the company has in place to define how your information will be used before uploading any information to the website.