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Communication is the most popular use of the Internet, with email topping the list of all the technologies used. Some of the types of communication technologies used also include email discussion groups, Usenet news, chat groups, and IRC. These are unique to networked computer environments and have come into wide popularity because of the Internet. Other technologies, including video and audio conferencing and Internet telephony, are also available on the Internet. They require more multimedia capabilities of computer systems and are more taxing of network resources than the others. They also are adaptations of other technologies to the Internet. Most of the technologies that are unique to the Internet require communication to be done in text—letters with some symbols and punctuation. Communicating effectively involves taking the time, except in informal communications, to use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation and writing an appropriate message. When replying to a message include the pertinent parts of the message and use an appropriate and interesting subject header in any case.
E-mail or Electronic mail is a paperless method of sending messages, notes or letters from one person to another or even many people at the same time via Internet. E-mail is very fast compared to the normal post. E-mail messages usually take only few seconds to arrive at their destination. One can send messages anytime of the day or night and it will get delivered immediately. You need not to wait for the post office to open and you don’t have to get worried about holidays. It works 24 hours a day and seven days a week. What’s more, the copy of the message you have sent will be available whenever you want to look at it even in the middle of the night. You have the privilege of sending something extra such as a file, graphics, images etc. along with your e-mail. The biggest advantage of using e-mail is that it is cheap, especially when sending messages to other states or countries and at the same time it can be delivered to a number of people around the world.
Features of E-mail:
• One-to-one or one-to-many communications
• Instant communications
• Physical presence of recipient is not required
• Most inexpensive mail services, 24-hours a day and seven days a week
• Encourages informal communications
Components of email
An email message consists of three components, the message envelope, the message header, and the message body. The message header contains control information, including, minimally, an originator's email address and one or more recipient addresses. Usually descriptive information is also added, such as a subject header field and a message submission date/time stamp.
Components of an E-mail Address
As in the case of normal mail system, e-mail is also based upon the concept of a recipient address. The email address provides all of the information required to get a message to the recipient from anywhere in the world. Consider the e-mail ID firstname.lastname@example.org In the example above, “john” is the local part, which is the name of a mailbox on the destination computer, where finally the mail will be delivered. Hotmail is the mail server where the mailbox “john” exist, .com is the type of organization on net, which is hosting the mail server.
There are six main categories
com Commercial institutions or organization
edu Educational institutions
gov Government site
mil Military site
net Gateways and administrative hosts
org Private organizations
Guidelines for using e-Mail safely
•Use e-mail filtering software to avoid spam so that only messages from authorized users are received. Most e-Mail providers offer filtering services.
•Do not open attachments coming from strangers, since they may contain a virus along with the received message.
•Be careful while downloading attachments from e-Mails into your hard disk. Scan the attachment with updated antivirus software before saving it.
•Do not send messages with attachments that contain executable code like Word documents with macros, .EXE files and ZIPPED files. We can use Rich Text Format instead of the standard .DOC format. RTF will keep your formatting, but will not include any macros. This may prevent you from sending virus to others if you are already infected by it.
•Avoid sending personal information through e-Mails.
•Avoid filling forms that come via e-Mail asking for your personal information. And do not click on links that come via e-Mail.
•Do not click on the e-Mails that you receive from un trusted users as clicking itself may execute some malicious code and spread into your system.
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