Electronic mail, often abbreviated as e-mail, email, or eMail, is any method of creating, transmitting, or storing primarily text-based human communications with digital communications systems. Unlike conventional mail, email is much faster (conventional mail is sometimes called “snail mail” by email users)

Email has both similarities and differences with more conventional postal services. First, messages are posted electronically to individuals at specific addresses much like conventional mail. The address denotes the computer that the individual employs as a mail server. A mail server is like a local post office: it is a computer that sends and receives electronic mail for a specific network.

An email message is made up of several parts. They include:

Header - It contains information about the sender, the routing and the time of the message. The header always contains a subject line. This is a very important part of the message and you should always include a subject line. Some folks sort their messages by subject, so it is rude to not include a subject! The subject line indicates the purpose or content of the message

Message body, where you write your message

Signature, which identifies the sender. This part is optional and must be set up inside of your email software.

Header fields

The message header usually includes at least the following fields:

From: The e-mail address of the sender To: The e-mail address of recipient Subject: Topic of message

Date: The local time and date when the message was written

Cc: carbon copy, adopted from business communication protocol when typewriters ruled the day

Bcc: Blind Carbon Copy, when recipient does not need to know who else got a copy of the message. May or may not appear in sender's file copy depending on e-mail software used.

The usefulness of e-mail is being threatened by four phenomena:

a. E-mail bombardment, an e-mail bomb is a form of net abuse consisting of sending huge volumes of e-mail to an address in an attempt to overflow the mailbox or overwhelm the server.

b. spamming, unsolicited commercial (or bulk) e- mail results in information overload for many computer users who receive such email each day

c. phising, process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

d. E-mail worms use e-mail as a way of replicating themselves into vulnerable computers

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