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The at sign, a part of every SMTP email address[1] Electronic mail, commonly called email or e-mail, is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Modern email operates across the Internet or other computer networks. Some early email systems required that the author and the recipient both be online at the same time, in common with instant messaging. Today's email systems are based on a store-and-forward model. Email servers accept, forward, deliver and store messages. Neither the users nor their computers are required to be online simultaneously; they need connect only briefly, typically to an email server, for as long as it takes to send or receive messages. 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. Originally a text-only (7-bit ASCII and others) communications medium, email was extended to carry multi-media content attachments, a process standardized in RFC 2045 through 2049. Collectively, these RFCs have come to be called Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME). Electronic mail predates the inception of the Internet, and was in fact a crucial tool in creating it,[2] but the history of modern, global Internet email services reaches back to the early ARPANET. Standards for encoding email messages were proposed as early as 1973 (RFC 561). Conversion from ARPANET to the Internet in the early 1980s produced the core of the current services. An email sent in the early 1970s looks quite similar to a basic text message sent on the Internet today. Network-based email was initially exchanged on the ARPANET in extensions to the File Transfer Protocol (FTP), but is now carried by the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), first published as Internet standard 10 (RFC 821) in 1982. In the process of transporting email

messages between systems, SMTP communicates delivery parameters using a message envelope separate from the message (header and body) itself.

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1 Spelling 2 Origin o 2.1 Precursors o 2.2 Host-based mail systems o 2.3 Email networks o 2.4 LAN email systems o 2.5 Attempts at interoperability o 2.6 From SNDMSG to MSG o 2.7 The rise of ARPANET mail 3 Operation overview 4 Message format o 4.1 Message header  4.1.1 Header fields o 4.2 Message body  4.2.1 Content encoding  4.2.2 Plain text and HTML 5 Servers and client applications o 5.1 Filename extensions o 5.2 URI scheme mailto: 6 Use o 6.1 In society  6.1.1 Flaming  6.1.2 Email bankruptcy o 6.2 In business  6.2.1 Pros  6.2.2 Cons 7 Problems o 7.1 Attachment size limitation o 7.2 Information overload o 7.3 Spamming and computer viruses o 7.4 Email spoofing o 7.5 Email bombing o 7.6 Privacy concerns o 7.7 Tracking of sent mail 8 US Government 9 See also o 9.1 Email terminologies o 9.2 Email social issues o 9.3 Clients and servers

[citation needed] EMail is a traditional form that has been used in RFCs for the "Author's Address".5 History 9. GEnie. H-bomb.[19] E-mail. eWorld.4 Mailing list 9.[24] [edit] Host-based mail systems . AppleLink.[16][17][18] eMail. X-ray. [edit] Origin [edit] Precursors Sending text messages electronically could be said to date back to the Morse code telegraph of the mid 1800s and at the 1939 New York World's FairIBM sent a letter of congratulations from San Francisco to New York on an IBM radio-type. published American English writing. CMS.[20] email is its own plural in US English.[6][7][8] This spelling also appears in most dictionaries.[3][4] y y y y y y y email is the form required by IETFRequests for Comment and working groups[5] and increasingly by style guides.6 Protocols 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links o o o [edit] Spelling There are several (English) spelling options that occasionally prove cause for surprisingly vehement disagreement..y y y 9.. capitalizing the initial letter E in the same way as A-bomb. capitalizing only the letter M.". and Hotmail. AOL. calling it a high-speed substitute for mail service in the world of tomorrow. According to Corpus of Contemporary American English data. Tshirt.[17][18] and is expressly required ".[15] mail was the form used in the original RFC.[21]Teleprinters were used in Germany during World War II[22] and use spread until by the late 1960s there was a worldwide Telex network[23] which remained important until the late 1980s. this form appears most frequently in edited.for historical reasons. but in British English the plural emails is more commonly used.[9][10][11][12][13][14] e-mail is a form previously recommended by some prominent journalistic and technical style guides.. was common among ARPANET users and the early developers of Unix.. and similar shortenings. The service is referred to as mail and a single piece of electronic mail is called a message.

[27] Informal methods of using this to pass messages developed²and were expanded to create the first true email system: y MIT's CTSS MAIL. RFC 724²and finally 1977's RFC 733. [edit] Email networks Soon systems were developed to link compatible mail programs between different organisations over dialup modems or leased lines. files on the central disk. y In 1971 the first ARPANETe-mail was sent. in 1965.With the introduction of MIT's Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS) in 1961[25] for the first time multiple users were able to log into a central system[26] from remote dial-up terminals. and share.[34] and through RFC 561. networked personal computers on LANs became increasingly important. Again these systems initially allowed communication only between users logged into the same server infrastructure. ran on incompatible system.ALL-IN-1[33] by Digital Equipment Corporation Although similar in concept.although this could be hundreds or even thousands of users within an organization. became a standardized working system.[28] Other early time-sharing system soon had their own email applications: y y y y 1972 . creating local and global networks. RFC 680. Server-based systems similar to the earlier mainframe systems were developed.APL Mailbox by Larry Breed[31][32] 1981 . Other separate networks were also being created including: y y y Unix mail was networked by 1978's uucp[35].Unixmail program[29][30] 1972 . and to store. Examples include: y y cc:Mail Lantastic . They allowed communication only between users logged into the same host or "mainframe" . which was also used for USENET newsgroup postings IBM mainframe email was linked by BITNET in 1981 IBM PC's running DOS in 1984 could link with FidoNet for email and shared bulletin board posting [edit] LAN email systems In the early 1980s.PROFS by IBM 1982 . all these original email systems had widely different features.

defined the first protocols for dissimilar computers to exchange email uucp implementations for non-Unix systems were used as an open "glue" between differing mail systems. (August 2010) Early interoperability among independent systems included: y y y ARPANET. the project manager for the ARPANET development. as long as they ran the same email system and proprietary protocol. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. access to SNMSG for sending. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references.400 in the 1980s and early 1990s was promoted by major vendors and mandated for government use under GOSIP but abandoned by all but a few ² in favor of InternetSMTP by the mid-1990s. and a help system.[37] Barry Wessler then updated RD and called it NRD. [edit] From SNDMSG to MSG In the early 1970s. and wrote a program for TENEX in TECO macros called RD which permitted accessing individual messages. Lawrence Roberts. and called the utility WRD which was later known as BANANARD.[36] [edit] Attempts at interoperability This section needs additional citations for verification. which dumped all "recent" messages onto the user's terminal. took the idea of READMAIL.y y y y WordPerfect Office Microsoft Mail Banyan VINES Lotus Notes Eventually these systems too could also be linked between different organizations. This was the first email . Ray Tomlinson updated an existing utility called SNDMSG so that it could copy messages (as files) over the network. John Vittal then updated this version to include message forwarding and an Answer command that automatically created a reply message with the correct address(es). primarily over dialup telephones CSNet used dial-up telephone access to link additional sites to the ARPANET and then Internet Later efforts at interoperability standardization included: y y y Novell briefly championed the open MHS protocol but abandoned it after purchasing the non-MHS WordPerfect Office (renamed Groupwise) The Coloured Book protocols on UK academic networks until 1992 X.[citation needed] Marty Yonke combined rewrote NRD to include reading. the forerunner of today's Internet.

email messages (and other data such as Usenet News) were passed along in a chain among hosts who had explicitly agreed to share data with each This was necessary because in early years UUCP computers did not maintain (and could not consult central servers for) information about the location of all hosts they exchanged mail with. (Eventually the UUCP Mapping Project would provide a form of network routing database for e-mail. Some well-known examples of these were UUCP (mostly Unix computers). The two machines were placed next to each other. FidoNet (personal computers). which significantly increased the popularity of email.somedomain. the system was called MSG. initiating the use of the "@" sign to separate the names of the user and the user's machine in 1971. For many years.[28]Ray Tomlinson is generally credited as having sent the first email across a network. MSG is considered to be the first integrated modern email program. There is one report that indicates experimental inter-system email transfers began shortly after its creation in 1969.[38][39] Tomlinson's work was quickly adopted across the ARPANET. She enters the email address of her .) [edit] Operation overview The diagram to the right shows a typical sequence of events[40] that takes place when Alice composes a message using her mail user agent (MUA). email was the killer app of the ARPANET and then the Internet. An example of an Internet email address that routed mail to a user at a UUCP host: hubhost!middlehost!edgehost!user@uucpgateway. Most other networks had their own email protocols and address formats. central sites often hosted email gateways that passed mail between the Internet and these other networks. DECNET (various networks) and CSNET a forerunner of NSFNet. from which many other applications have descended.[37] [edit] The rise of ARPANET mail The ARPANET computer network made a large contribution to the development of email."reply" command. With inclusion of these features. Internet email addressing is still complicated by the need to handle mail destined for these older networks.example. as the influence of the ARPANET and later the Internet grew. but rather only knew how to communicate with a few network neighbors. BITNET (mostly IBM and VAX mainframes at universities). when he sent a message from one Digital Equipment CorporationDEC-10 computer to another DEC-10.

such as IBMLotus Notes or MicrosoftExchange.b. Bob presses the "get mail" button in his MUA. responds with any MX records listing the mail exchange servers for that domain. 4. ns. That sequence of events applies to the majority of email users. often the username of the domain. and the part after the @ sign is a domain name or a fully qualified domain 1. This server may need to forward the message to other MTAs before the message reaches the final message delivery agent (MDA). run by Alice's internet service provider (ISP). 3. which picks up the message using either the Post Office Protocol (POP3) or the Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP4). and hits the "send" button. sends the message to mx. The MSA resolves a domain name to determine the fully qualified domain name of the mail exchange server in the Domain Name System (DNS). The part before the @ sign is the local part of the address. These systems often have their own internal email format . The MSA looks at the destination address provided in the SMTP protocol (not from the message header). a message transfer agent (MTA) server run by Bob's ISP. in this case smtp.a. The MDA delivers it to the mailbox of the user bob. 2. Her MUA formats the message in email format and uses the Submission Protocol (a profile of the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). see RFC 4409) to send the message to the local mail submission agent (MSA). there are many alternative possibilities and complications to the email system: y Alice or Bob may use a client connected to a corporate email system.a. in this case mx. 2. in this case bob@b. The DNS server for the using SMTP. An Internet email address is a string of the form

sometimes containing a signature block at the end. or by using a webmail service. and many MTAs don't accept messages from open mail relays because such messages are very likely to be spam. Domains usually have several mail exchange servers so that they can continue to accept mail when the main mail exchange server is not available. Alice's computer may run its own MTA. and other information about the email. CC. [edit] Message format The Internet email message format is defined in RFC 5322. RFC 5322 specifies the precise syntax. To. collectively called Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions or MIME. This was very important in the early days of the Internet when network connections were unreliable. Body ² The basic content. this mechanism proved to be exploitable by people sending unsolicited bulk email and as a consequence very few modern MTAs are open mail relays. for example logging into mx. Alice may not have a MUA on her computer but instead may connect to a webmail service. the format described by RFC 822 was the standard for Internet email for nearly 20 years. with multi-media content attachments being defined in RFC 2045 through RFC 2049.[41] Internet email messages consist of two major sections: y y Header ² Structured into fields such as From.b. . However. The server sends or receives email via the Internet through the product's Internet mail gateway which also does any necessary reformatting. Prior to the introduction of RFC 2822 in 2001. Each field has a name and a value. the entire transaction may happen completely within a single corporate email system. so avoiding the transfer at step 1. Email messages are not secure if email encryption is not used correctly. proprietary protocol. The header is separated from the body by a blank line. This is exactly the same as the body of a regular letter. The relay stood a better chance of delivering the message at a later time. as unstructured text. it could at least deliver it to a relay closer to the destination. [edit] Message header Each message has exactly one header. which is structured into fields. Such MTAs are called open mail relays. If Alice and Bob work for the same company. If an MTA couldn't reach the destination.y y y y y and their clients typically communicate with the email server using a vendor-specific. Many MTAs used to accept messages for any recipient on the Internet and do their best to deliver them. Bob may pick up his email in many ways. and reading it directly. RFC 822 was published in 1982 and based on the earlier RFC 733 for the ARPANET (see). Subject.

each line of text in the header that begins with a printable character begins a separate field. The message header should include at least the following fields[43]: y y Message-ID: Also an automatically generated field. Subject: A brief summary of the topic of the message. "junk". Cc: Carbon copy. including "RE:" and "FW:". for secondary recipients see Cc: and Bcc: below. usually a MIME type. Bcc: Blind Carbon Copy. or "list". This field only applies for reply messages. and referencing relevant RFCs. Non-ASCII values may be represented using MIME encoded words. The value is continued onto subsequent lines if those lines have a space or tab as their first character. netnews. Indicates primary recipients (multiple allowed). In-Reply-To: Message-ID of the message that this is a reply to. addresses added to the SMTP delivery list but not (usually) listed in the message data. remaining invisible to other recipients. Many email clients will mark email in your inbox differently depending on whether you are in the To: or Cc: list. used to indicate that automated "vacation" or "out of office" responses should not be returned for this mail. to prevent vacation notices from being sent to all other subscribers of a mailinglist. and optionally name(s) of the message's recipient(s). The field name starts in the first character of the line and ends before the separator character ":". RFC 3864 describes registration procedures for message header fields at the IANA. The recipient's client may then display the time in the format and time zone local to him/her. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Date: The local time and date when the message was written. Common header fields for email include: y y y y y y To: The email address(es). Used to link related messages together.Informally. e. many email clients fill this in automatically when sending. Content-Type: Information about how the message is to be displayed. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (August 2010) The message header must include at least the following fields[42]: y y From: The email address. used to prevent multiple delivery and for reference in In-Reply-To: (see below).g. including also fields defined for MIME. and http. Like the From: field. Field names and values are restricted to 7-bit ASCII characters. In many email clients not changeable except through changing account settings. and optionally the name of the author(s). [edit] Header fields This section needs additional citations for verification. The separator is then followed by the field value (the "body" of the field). Precedence: commonly with values "bulk". . it provides for permanent and provisional message header field names. Certain abbreviations are commonly used in the subject.

and the message-id of the message the previous was reply a reply to. in reverse order (last handler first). Note that the To: field is not necessarily related to the addresses to which the message is delivered.[45] Much email software is 8-bit clean but must assume it will communicate with 7-bit servers and mail readers. (November 2007) [edit] Content encoding Email was originally designed for 7-bit ASCII. Also note that the "From:" field does not have to be the real sender of the email message. The 8BITMIME and BINARY extensions were introduced to allow transmission of mail without the need for these encodings. The actual delivery list is supplied separately to the transport protocol. but many mail transport . Microsoft Exchange respects a finegrained automatic response suppression mechanism. list manager. but such signatures require extra programming and often external programs to verify. [edit] Message body This section needs additional citations for verification. With modern high-bandwidth networks delivery priority is less of an issue than it once was. Some ISPs apply email authentication systems to email being sent through their MTA to allow other MTAs to detect forged spam that might appear to come from them. Reply-To: Address that should be used to reply to the message. It is possible to digitally sign email. Recently the IETF EAI working group has defined some experimental extensions to allow Unicode characters to be used within the header. the X-Auto-Response-Suppress header. etc. with "Precedence: special-delivery" messages delivered sooner. Sender: Address of the actual sender acting on behalf of the author listed in the From: field (secretary. etc. this allows email addresses to use non-ASCII characters. In particular. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references.[44] Received: Tracking information generated by mail servers that have previously handled a message.y y y y Sendmail uses this header to affect prioritization of queued email. References: Message-ID of the message that this is a reply to. which may or may not originally have been extracted from the header content.). Such characters must only be used by servers that support these extensions. Some ISPs do not relay email claiming to come from a domain not hosted by them. which is much harder to fake. The "To:" field is similar to the addressing at the top of a conventional letter which is delivered according to the address on the outer envelope. The MIME standard introduced character set specifiers and two content transfer encodings to enable transmission of non-ASCII data: quoted printable for mostly 7 bit content with a few characters outside that range and base64 for arbitrary binary data. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. but very few (if any) check to make sure that the person or even email address named in the "From:" field is the one associated with the connection. SMTP. One reason is that it is very easy to fake the "From:" field and let a message seem to be from any mail address.

set apart previous messages in block quotes. for compatibility reasons. Some Microsoftemail clients allow rich formatting using RTF. and delivered to a mail store by programs called .[46] Some web based Mailing lists recommend that all posts be made in plain-text. and change font styles. privacy concerns about web bugs. Unicode is growing in popularity. for international character sets. Thunderbird. as the result. abuse of HTML email as a vector for phishing attacks and the spread of malicious software. HTML email messages often include an automatically generated plain text copy as well. wrap naturally on any display. In some countries. [edit] Servers and client applications The interface of an email client. [edit] Plain text and HTML Most modern graphic email clients allow the use of either plain text or HTML for the message body at the option of the user. use emphasis such as underlines and italics. Messages are exchanged between hosts using the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol with software programs called mail transfer agents (MTAs). by default. but unless the recipient is guaranteed to have a compatible email client this should be avoided. Disadvantages include the increased size of the email. when the sender and receiver use the same encoding scheme). Therefore. the message in a non-Latin alphabet language appears in non-readable form (the only exception is coincidence.agentsstill do not support them fully. but also because they have a significant number of readers using text-basedemail clients such as Mutt. with 72 or 80 characters per line[47][48] for all the above reasons. several encoding schemes coexist.[49] In order to ensure that HTML sent in an email is rendered properly by the recipient's client software. Advantages of HTML include the ability to include in-line links and images. an additional header must be specified when sending: "Content-type: text/html". Most email programs send this header automatically.

Server-side storage is often in a proprietary format but since access is through a standard protocol such as IMAP. and Apple Mail based on the mbox format. URLs of this form are intended to be used to . msg Used by Microsoft Office Outlook and OfficeLogic Groupware. mbx Used by Opera Mail. Windows Mail and Mozilla Thunderbird. Mail can be stored on the client. The specific format used is often indicated by special filename extensions: eml Used by many email clients including Microsoft Outlook Express. indicating the problem. also sometimes called local delivery agents. KMail. on the server side. containing the email header as well as the message contents and attachments in one or more of several formats. Some applications (like Apple Mail) leave attachments encoded in messages for searching while also saving separate copies of the attachments. for collective storage. Others separate attachments from messages and save them in a specific directory. as is more likely in a large corporate environment. or. Programs used by users for retrieving. while others use various database formats.mail delivery agents (MDAs. and managing e-mail are called mail user agents (MUAs). Webmail interfaces allow users to access their mail with any standard web browser. A historical standard of storage is the mbox format. that MTA must send a bounce message back to the sender. LDAs). with a proprietary protocol specific to Novell Groupwise. [edit] Filename extensions Upon reception of email messages.[50] and when a message cannot be delivered.[51] The files are plain text in MIME format. Lotus Notes or Microsoft Exchange Servers. Though its use is not strictly defined. Users can retrieve their messages from servers using standard protocols such as POP or IMAP. often proprietary. moving email from one server to another can be done with any MUA supporting the protocol. as registered with the IANA. reading. Standard formats for mailboxes include Maildir and mbox. Some clients save individual messages as separate files. Accepting a message obliges an MTA to deliver it. rather than relying on an email client. emlx Used by Apple Mail. Several prominent email clients use their own proprietary format and require conversion software to transfer email between them. from any computer. or in both places. defines the mailto: scheme for SMTP email addresses. [edit] URI scheme mailto: Main article: mailto The URI scheme. email client applications save message in operating system files in the file-system.

. email bankruptcy is when a user ignores a large number of email messages after falling behind in reading and answering them. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. fax services. As a solution. social interaction in the local community was the basis for communication ± face to face. Yet. where social norms encourage civility. The reason for falling behind is often due to information overload and a general sense there is so much information that it is not possible to read it the new message window of the user's mail client when the URL is activated. Harvard University law professor Lawrence Lessig is credited with coining this term. email solves two basic problems of communication: logistics and synchronization (see below). The term is derived from the use of the word Incendiary to describe particularly heated email discussions. today face-to-face meetings are no longer the primary way to communicate as one can use a landline telephone. [edit] Flaming Flaming occurs when a person sends a message with angry or antagonistic content. (November 2007) [edit] In society There are numerous ways in which people have changed the way they communicate in the last 50 years. Traditionally. mobile phones. people occasionally send a boilerplate message explaining that the email inbox is being cleared out.[52] [edit] Use This section needs additional citations for verification. or any number of the computer mediated communications such as email. [edit] Email bankruptcy Main article: Email bankruptcy Also known as "email fatigue".[citation needed] Flaming is generally looked down upon by Internet communities as it is considered rude and non-productive. with the address as defined by the URL in the To: field. Flaming is assumed to be more common today because of the ease and impersonality of email communications: confrontations in person or via telephone require direct interaction. Email is very simple to understand and like postal mail. email is certainly one of them. but he may only have popularized it.[53] [edit] In business Email was widely accepted by the business community as the first broad electronic communication medium and was the first µe-revolution¶ in business communication. whereas typing a message to another person is an indirect interaction. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. so civility may be forgotten.

Statements made in an email can be deemed legally binding and be used against a party in a Court of law. µre-contextualizing¶ fragmented information. More details may be available on the talk page. [edit] Cons This section may contain original research. Email can lead to some well-known problems: y y y y Loss of context: which means that the context is lost forever.[54] The use of email is increasing due to increasing levels of globalisation²labour division and outsourcing amongst other things. time-consuming. found that 83% of U. sorting. Convenient availability of mailing lists and use of "copy all" can lead to people receiving unwanted or irrelevant information of no use to them. It not only allows the business user to download mail when offline. area or even country. and each participant must spend the same amount of time in the meeting or call. (June 2009) Most business workers today spend from one to two hours of their working day on email: reading. email has become the most widely used medium of communication within the business world. it also provides the small business user to have multiple users email ID's with just one email connection.S.[55] Despite these disadvantages. Information in context (as in a newspaper) is much easier and faster to understand than unedited and sometimes unrelated fragments of information. there is no way to get the text back.LAN based email is also an emerging form of usage for business. a 2010 study on workplace communication. The problem of synchronisation: With real time communication by meetings or phone calls. This can be a problem when a large team is working on documents and information while not in constant contact with the other members of their team. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed. telephone call. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding references. [edit] Pros y y The problem of logistics: Much of the business world relies upon communications between people who are not physically in the same building. ordering. and costly. knowledge workers felt that email was critical to their success and productivity at work. Communicating in context can only be achieved when both parties have a full understanding of the context and issue in question. Email provides a way to exchange information between two or more people with no set-up costs and that is generally far less expensive than physical meetings or phone calls. Liability. Email allows asynchrony: each participant may control their schedule independently. setting up and attending an in-person meeting. Information overload: Email is a push technology²the sender controls who receives the information. In fact. and writing email. participants have to work on the same schedule. Inconsistency: Email can duplicate information. or conference call can be inconvenient.[56] .

due to technical reasons. In principle there is no technical intrinsic restriction in the SMTP protocol limiting the size or number of attachments. Furthermore. and this can result in their message being rejected. however. Attachments serve the purpose of delivering binary or text files of unspecified size. Hundreds of active spammers sending this volume of mail results in information overload for many computer users who receive voluminous unsolicited email each day.[61][62] .[58] and the New York Times reported in April 2008 that "E-MAIL has become the bane of some people¶s professional lives" due to information overload. highlighting research that found 57% of knowledge workers were overwhelmed by the volume of email they received. Because of the very low cost of sending email. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. often a small attachment can increase in size when sent. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. phishing. and email worms. usually over web-friendly HTTP.[57] which can be confusing to senders when trying to assess whether they can or cannot send a file by email.[59]GigaOm posted a similar article in September 2010. Spamming is unsolicited commercial (or bulk) email.[56] Technology investors reflect similar concerns. In practice. spammers can send hundreds of millions of email messages each day over an inexpensive Internet connection. use online file sharing facilities or services. spamming. As larger and larger file sizes are being created and traded. email service providers implement various limitations on the permissible size of files or the size of an entire message. many users are either forced to upload and download their files using an FTP server. or more popularly. [edit] Information overload A December 2007 New York Times blog post described information overload as "a $650 Billion Drag on the Economy". yet "none of the current wave of high-profile Internet start-ups focused on e-mail really eliminates the problem of e-mail overload because none helps us prepare replies". in order to send and receive them.[edit] Problems This section needs additional citations for verification. (November 2007) [edit] Attachment size limitation Main article: Email attachment Email messages may have one or more attachments.[60] [edit] Spamming and computer viruses The usefulness of email is being threatened by four phenomena: email bombardment.

the Can Spam Act of 2003. attempting to regulate such email. in which the information never leaves the organizational network. It is often used as a ruse to collect personal information. Although the first email worm affected UNIX computers. can be compromised because: y y y email messages are generally not encrypted. [edit] Email bombing Email bombing is the intentional sending of large volumes of messages to a target address.S.. A number of anti-spam techniques mitigate the impact of spam. may be more secure. The overloading of the target email address can render it unusable and can even cause the mail server to crash. meaning it is relatively easy for others to intercept and read messages. The combination of spam and worm programs results in users receiving a constant drizzle of junk email. . During the transit time it is possible that third parties read or even modify the content.[citation needed] [edit] Email spoofing Main article: Email spoofing Email spoofing occurs when the header information of an email is altered to make the message appear to come from a known or trusted source. Australia also has very strict spam laws restricting the sending of spam from an Australian ISP. Internet email may travel and be stored on networks and computers without the sender's or the recipient's control. which reduces the usefulness of email as a practical tool. many Internet Service Providers (ISP) store copies of email messages on their mail servers before they are delivered. U. In the United States. despite deletion from the mailbox. [edit] Privacy concerns Main article: Internet privacy Today it can be important to distinguish between Internet and internal email systems.[63] but its impact has been minimal since most spam comes from regimes that seem reluctant to regulate the sending of spam. The backups of these can remain for up to several months on their server.Email worms use email as a way of replicating themselves into vulnerable computers. although information technology personnel and others whose function may involve monitoring or managing may be accessing the email of other employees. Email privacy. email messages have to go through intermediate computers before reaching their destination.. the problem is most common today on the more popular Microsoft Windows operating system. Congress has also passed a law. without some security precautions. Internal mail systems.

To remedy this. and none for verifying that it has been delivered or read. Finally. but it never gained traction. A check sign can appear in the sender's screen when the receiver's "Okay" button is pressed. Encrypted authentication schemes such as SASL prevent this. It requires that each mail server must either deliver it onward or return a failure notice (bounce message). For example. then the innocent email address that was used can be flooded with NDRs from the many invalid email addresses the spammer may have attempted to mail. preventing anonymous communication. [edit] US Government The US Government has been involved in email in several different ways. (A complete Message Tracking mechanism was also defined. and SMTP STARTTLS or SMTP over Transport Layer Security/Secure Sockets Layer can be used to encrypt communications for a single mail hop between the SMTP client and the SMTP server. Additionally. making them easy to intercept by an attacker. many mail user agents do not protect logins and passwords. . There are cryptography applications that can serve as a remedy to one or more of the above. these are not universally deployed in production.) Many ISPs now deliberately disable non-delivery reports (NDRs) and delivery receipts due to the activities of spammers: y y Delivery Reports can be used to verify whether an address exists and so is available to be spammed If the spammer uses a forged sender email address (E-mail spoofing).y the "Received:"-fields and other information in the email can often identify the sender. SMEmail. but both software bugs and system failures can cause messages to be lost. the IETF introduced Delivery Status Notifications (delivery receipts) and Message Disposition Notifications (return receipts).[64] or S/MIME can be used for end-to-end message encryption. PGP. Attached files may contain trojans or viruses. Virtual Private Networks or the Tor anonymity network can be used to encrypt traffic from the user machine to a safer network while GPG. These NDRs then constitute spam from the ISP to the innocent user There are a number of systems that allow the sender to see if messages have been opened. attached files share many of the same hazards as those found in peer-to-peer filesharing.[65][66][67] The receiver could also let the sender know that the emails have been opened through an "Okay" button. [edit] Tracking of sent mail The original SMTP mail service provides limited mechanisms for tracking a transmitted message. see RFCs 3885 through 3888. however.

and initiated a series of procedures on spam. formats. a meeting was held at BBN to resolve incompatibility issues. "Summary of Computer Mail Services Meeting Held at BBN on 10 January 1979" (March 1. the USPS initiated an experimental email service known as E-COM. printed out. Vint Cerf arranged for an interconnection of MCI Mail with NSFNET on an experimental basis. the Federal Trade Commission grew concerned with fraud transpiring in email. so Multics users had to use a command-line option to specify the destination system. a new backbone for the network. This. in turn. and phishing.[75] The National Science Foundation took over operations of the ARPANET and Internet from the Department of Defense. NASA has provided email capabilities to astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle and Internationals Space Station since 1991 when a Macintosh Portable was used aboard Space Shuttle mission STS-43 to send the first email via AppleLink. Both the Postal Regulatory Commission and the Federal Communications Commission opposed E-COM. John Vittal. "Standard for the Format of ARPA Internet Text Messages" (August 13. "Standard for the Format of ARPA Network Text Message" (November 21. Therefore. This led to David Crocker. and delivered as hard copy. A part of the NSFNet AUP forbade commercial traffic.[77] In 2004. 1982). which includes an appendix listing the varying email systems at the time. and initiated NSFNet. Kenneth Pogran. and at times incompatible.[76] In 1988. The following year Compuserve email interconnected with NSFNET.[79][80][81] Today astronauts aboard the International Space Station have email capabilities through the via wireless networking throughout the station and are connected to the ground at 3Mbps Earth to station and 10Mbps station to Earth. FTC jurisdiction over spam was codified into law in the form of the CAN SPAM Act. lead to the release of David Crocker's RFC 822. In the late 1990s. . For example. the US Postal Service (USPS) recognized that electronic mail and electronic transactions posed a significant threat to First Class mail volumes and revenue. the "@" sign meant "kill line" and anything before the "@" sign was ignored. and Austin Henderson publishing RFC 733. Electronic messages were transmitted to a post office. The delivery time of the messages was the same as First Class mail and cost 26 cents.[69][70][71][72][73][74] The early ARPANET dealt with multiple email clients that had various. which was apparently not effective. The FCC concluded that E-COM constituted common carriage under its jurisdiction and the USPS would have to file a tariff. 1982). an individual had to transmit at least 200 messages. and NSFNET was privatised. 1977). To take advantage of the service.[78] Several other US Federal Agencies have also exercised jurisdiction including the Department of Justice and the Secret Service. Jon Postel recounted the meeting in RFC 808. comparable to home DSL connection speeds.[68] Three years after initiating the service.[28] The Department of DefenseDARPA desired to have uniformity and interoperability for email and therefore funded efforts to drive towards unified inter-operable standards. USPS canceled E-COM and attempted to sell it off.Starting in 1977. In 1979. fraud. in the Multics. Within a few years the commercial traffic restriction was removed from NSFNETs AUP.

. Time is wasted. A reply in the heat of the moment can¶t be retracted. 10 Disadvantages of Email 1. 10. email really is a superb productivity tool. Good for the planet. acting on a misinterpretation of the message. Easy to use. 6. Web based email means you can access your messages anywhere online. Procrastinating doesn¶t making it go away. too. Email will never beat a hand written card or letter when it comes to relationships. If you have a product or service to sell. 3. Cheap. space taking file cabinets. Sent and received messages and attachments can be stored safely. 7. Information overload. travel insurance details or your accommodation details. either to clarify or. Misunderstandings. 9. But you clicked to the advantages and disadvantages of email. Pressure to reply. 5. Leverage. How much time does that save compared to µsnail mail?¶ 5. Computers themselves aren¶t 'green'. Info at your fingertips. Fast. Some things are best left untyped. Do you use more than one account? Email yourself messages from work to home or vice versa. Does the idea of two or more accounts seem complicated? It's not if you know how to manage multiple accounts. Global. there is no further expense. Once it¶s in your inbox. Ignore it at your peril! Discover how to get an empty inbox every day. Too many people send too much information. 6. Message to send? Done. Actually the advantages and disadvantages of email are clear here. 4. Emails from people who don¶t take the time to read what they write before clicking µsend¶. Some emails cause upset or anger. Here's the flip side. 4. Send the same message to any number of people. Send reminders to yourself. but email offsets some of the damage by reducing the environmental cost of contact. folders and shelves. Storing data online means less large. 3. Incoming messages have subject lines that mean you can delete without opening.. Learn how to use email effectively and you¶ll reduce time wasted on this. You can access information far quicker if you learn how to use email this way. logically and reliably. Lacks the personal touch. No respite. email is an effective medium to get your message out. That goes for a host of other email functions. Easy to prioritize.10 Advantages of Email 1. Data storage and contacts can be accessed quickly and easily. Easy to reference. sending and receiving messages is simple. Once you¶re set up. Adaptations are simple. Going oversees? Before you go. you feel an ever increasing obligation to act on it. 2.. under a second! Email is by far the fastest form of written communication. worse. The law of the empty inbox ± leave it and will grow. 2. Once you¶re online. mail yourself a copy of your passport number. Emotional responses. Used well. They often cite µneed to know¶ as the justification. 8.

Having to deal with spam and spoofs is one of the worst avoidable time wasters online. Too long. Sucks up your time. . passive activity. 10. you have a platform to know how use email as a time saver rather than time waster. A virus could seriously affect your computer. Spam. you need to know how to deal with these. Email is suited to brevity. How long is too long? It¶s hard to say exactly. Now you know the advantages and disadvantages of email. the harder it is to take in. 8. Viruses.7. but the longer it goes on. Over checking messages is time wasted on low value. 9. If you want know how to use email.

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