The "URI scheme, as registered with the "IANA, defines the mailto: scheme for SMTP email addresses. Though its use is not strictly defined, URLs of this form are intended to be used to open the new message window of the user's mail client when the URL is activated, with the address as defined by the URL in the To: field.
Many email providers have a web-based email client (e.g. "AOL Mail, "Gmail, "Outlook.com, "Hotmail and "Yahoo! Mail). This allows users to log in to the email account by using any compatible "web browser to send and receive their email. Mail is typically not downloaded to the client, so can't be read without a current Internet connection.
POP3 email services
The "Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3) is a mail access protocol used by a client application to read messages from the mail server. Received messages are often deleted from the "server. POP supports simple download-and-delete requirements for access to remote mailboxes (termed maildrop in the POP RFC's).
IMAP email servers
The "Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) provides features to manage a mailbox from multiple devices. Small portable devices like "smartphones are increasingly used to check email while travelling, and to make brief replies, larger devices with better keyboard access being used to reply at greater length. IMAP shows the headers of messages, the sender and the subject and the device needs to request to download specific messages. Usually mail is left in folders in the mail server.
MAPI email servers
"Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI) is used by "Microsoft Outlook to communicate to "Microsoft Exchange Server - and to a range of other email server products such as "Axigen Mail Server, "Kerio Connect, "Scalix, "Zimbra, "HP OpenMail, "IBM Lotus Notes, "Zarafa, and "Bynari where vendors have added MAPI support to allow their products to be accessed directly via Outlook.
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Business and organizational use
Email has been widely accepted by business, governments and non-governmental organizations in the developed world, and it is one of the key parts of an 'e-revolution' in workplace communication (with the other key plank being widespread adoption of highspeed "Internet). A sponsored 2010 study on workplace communication found 83% of U.S. knowledge workers felt email was critical to their success and productivity at work.
It has some key benefits to business and other organizations, including:
- Facilitating logistics
- Much of the business world relies on communications between people who are not physically in the same building, area, or even country; setting up and attending an in-person meeting, "telephone call, or "conference call can be inconvenient, time-consuming, and costly. Email provides a method of exchanging information between two or more people with no set-up costs and that is generally far less expensive than a physical meeting or phone call.
- Helping with synchronisation
- With "real time communication by meetings or phone calls, participants must work on the same schedule, and each participant must spend the same amount of time in the meeting or call. Email allows asynchrony: each participant may control their schedule independently.
- Reducing cost
- Sending an email is much less expensive than sending postal mail, or "long distance telephone calls, "telex or "telegrams.
- Increasing speed
- Much faster than most of the alternatives.
- Creating a "written" record
- Unlike a telephone or in-person conversation, email by its nature creates a detailed written record of the communication, the identity of the sender(s) and recipient(s) and the date and time the message was sent. In the event of a contract or legal dispute, saved emails can be used to prove that an individual was advised of certain issues, as each email has the date and time recorded on it.
Email marketing via ""opt-in" is often successfully used to send special sales offerings and new product information. Depending on the recipient's culture, email sent without permission—such as an "opt-in"—is likely to be viewed as unwelcome ""email spam".
Many users access their personal email from friends and family members using a "desktop computer in their house or apartment.
Email has become widely used on "smartphones and "Wi-Fi-enabled "laptops and "tablet computers. Mobile "apps" for email increase accessibility to the medium for users who are out of their home. While in the earliest years of email, users could only access email on desktop computers, in the 2010s, it is possible for users to check their email when they are away from home, whether they are across town or across the world. Alerts can also be sent to the smartphone or other device to notify them immediately of new messages. This has given email the ability to be used for more frequent communication between users and allowed them to check their email and write messages throughout the day. Today, there are an estimated 1.4 billion email users worldwide and 50 billion non-spam emails that are sent daily.
Individuals often check email on smartphones for both personal and work-related messages. It was found that US adults check their email more than they browse the web or check their "Facebook accounts, making email the most popular activity for users to do on their smartphones. 78% of the respondents in the study revealed that they check their email on their phone. It was also found that 30% of consumers use only their smartphone to check their email, and 91% were likely to check their email at least once per day on their smartphone. However, the percentage of consumers using email on smartphone ranges and differs dramatically across different countries. For example, in comparison to 75% of those consumers in the US who used it, only 17% in India did.
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Attachment size limitation
Email messages may have one or more attachments, which are additional files that are appended to the email. Typical attachments include "Microsoft Word documents, "pdf documents and scanned images of paper documents. In principle there is no technical restriction on the size or number of attachments, but in practice email clients, "servers and Internet service providers implement various limitations on the size of files, or complete email - typically to 25MB or less. Furthermore, due to technical reasons, attachment sizes as seen by these transport systems can differ to what the user sees, which can be confusing to senders when trying to assess whether they can safely send a file by email. Where larger files need to be shared, "file hosting services of various sorts are available; and generally suggested. Some large files, such as digital photos, color presentations and video or music files are too large for some email systems.
The ubiquity of email for knowledge workers and "white collar" employees has led to concerns that recipients face an ""information overload" in dealing with increasing volumes of email. This can lead to increased stress, decreased satisfaction with work, and some observers even argue it could have a significant negative economic effect, as efforts to read the many emails could reduce "productivity.
Email "spam" is the term used to describe unsolicited bulk email. The low cost of sending such email meant that by 2003 up to 30% of total email traffic was already spam. and was threatening the usefulness of email as a practical tool. The US "CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and similar laws elsewhere had some impact, and a number of effective "anti-spam techniques now largely mitigate the impact of spam by filtering or rejecting it for most users, but the volume sent is still very high—and increasingly consists not of advertisements for products, but malicious content or links.
A range of malicious email types exist. These range from "various types of email scams, including ""social engineering" scams such as "advance-fee scam "Nigerian letters", to "phishing, "email bombardment and "email worms.
"Email spoofing occurs when the email message header is designed to make the message appear to come from a known or trusted source. "Email spam and "phishing methods typically use spoofing to mislead the recipient about the true message origin. Email spoofing may be done as a prank, or as part of a criminal effort to defraud an individual or organization. An example of a potentially fraudulent email spoofing is if an individual creates an email which appears to be an invoice from a major company, and then sends it to one or more recipients. In some cases, these fraudulent emails incorporate the logo of the purported organization and even the email address may appear legitimate.
"Email bombing is the intentional sending of large volumes of messages to a target address. The overloading of the target email address can render it unusable and can even cause the mail server to crash.
Today it can be important to distinguish between Internet and internal email systems. Internet email may travel and be stored on networks and computers without the sender's or the recipient's control. During the transit time it is possible that third parties read or even modify the content. Internal mail systems, in which the information never leaves the organizational network, may be more secure, although "information technology personnel and others whose function may involve monitoring or managing may be accessing the email of other employees.
Email privacy, without some security precautions, can be compromised because:
- email messages are generally not encrypted.
- email messages have to go through intermediate computers before reaching their destination, meaning it is relatively easy for others to intercept and read messages.
- many Internet Service Providers (ISP) store copies of email messages on their mail servers before they are delivered. The backups of these can remain for up to several months on their server, despite deletion from the mailbox.
- the "Received:"-fields and other information in the email can often identify the sender, preventing anonymous communication.
There are "cryptography applications that can serve as a remedy to one or more of the above. For example, "Virtual Private Networks or the "Tor anonymity network can be used to encrypt traffic from the user machine to a safer network while "GPG, "PGP, SMEmail, or "S/MIME can be used for "end-to-end message encryption, 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, many "mail user agents do not protect logins and passwords, making them easy to intercept by an attacker. Encrypted authentication schemes such as "SASL prevent this. Finally, attached files share many of the same hazards as those found in "peer-to-peer filesharing. Attached files may contain "trojans or "viruses.
"Flaming occurs when a person sends a message (or many messages) with angry or antagonistic content. The term is derived from the use of the word "incendiary" to describe particularly heated email discussions. The ease and impersonality of email communications mean that the "social norms that encourage civility in person or via telephone do not exist and civility may be forgotten.
Also known as "email fatigue", email bankruptcy is when a user ignores a large number of email messages after falling behind in reading and answering them. 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 all. As a solution, people occasionally send a "boilerplate" message explaining that their email inbox is full, and that they are in the process of clearing out all the messages. "Harvard University law professor "Lawrence Lessig is credited with coining this term, but he may only have popularized it.
Tracking of sent mail
The original SMTP mail service provides limited mechanisms for tracking a transmitted message, and none for verifying that it has been delivered or read. It requires that each mail server must either deliver it onward or return a failure notice (bounce message), but both software bugs and system failures can cause messages to be lost. To remedy this, the "IETF introduced "Delivery Status Notifications (delivery receipts) and "Message Disposition Notifications (return receipts); however, these are not universally deployed in production. (A complete Message Tracking mechanism was also defined, but it never gained traction; see RFCs 3885 through 3888.)
Many ISPs now deliberately disable non-delivery reports (NDRs) and delivery receipts due to the activities of spammers:
- Delivery Reports can be used to verify whether an address exists and if so, this indicates to a spammer that it is available to be spammed.
- If the spammer uses a forged sender email address ("email spoofing), 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. These NDRs then constitute spam from the ISP to the innocent user.
In the absence of standard methods, a range of system based around the use of "web bugs have been developed. However, these are often seen as underhand or raising privacy concerns, and only work with email clients that support rendering of HTML. Many mail clients now default to not showing "web content". "Webmail providers can also disrupt web bugs by pre-caching images.
The U.S. state and federal governments have been involved in electronic messaging and the development of email in several different ways. Starting in 1977, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) recognized that electronic messaging and electronic transactions posed a significant threat to First Class mail volumes and revenue. The USPS explored an electronic messaging initiative in 1977 and later disbanded it. Twenty years later, in 1997, when email volume overtook postal mail volume, the USPS was again urged to embrace email, and the USPS declined to provide email as a service. The USPS initiated an experimental email service known as "E-COM. E-COM provided a method for the simple exchange of text messages. In 2011, shortly after the USPS reported its state of financial bankruptcy, the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) began exploring the possibilities of generating revenue through email servicing. Electronic messages were transmitted to a post office, printed out, and delivered as hard copy. To take advantage of the service, an individual had to transmit at least 200 messages. The delivery time of the messages was the same as First Class mail and cost 26 cents. Both the "Postal Regulatory Commission and the "Federal Communications Commission opposed E-COM. The FCC concluded that E-COM constituted common carriage under its jurisdiction and the USPS would have to file a "tariff. Three years after initiating the service, USPS canceled E-COM and attempted to sell it off.
The early ARPANET dealt with multiple email clients that had various, and at times incompatible, formats. For example, in the "Multics, the "@" sign meant "kill line" and anything before the "@" sign was ignored, so Multics users had to use a command-line option to specify the destination system. The "Department of Defense "DARPA desired to have uniformity and interoperability for email and therefore funded efforts to drive towards unified inter-operable standards. This led to David Crocker, John Vittal, Kenneth Pogran, and "Austin Henderson publishing RFC 733, "Standard for the Format of ARPA Network Text Message" (November 21, 1977), a subset of which provided a stable base for common use on the ARPANET, but which was not fully effective, and in 1979, a meeting was held at BBN to resolve incompatibility issues. "Jon Postel recounted the meeting in RFC 808, "Summary of Computer Mail Services Meeting Held at BBN on 10 January 1979" (March 1, 1982), which includes an appendix listing the varying email systems at the time. This, in turn, led to the release of David Crocker's RFC 822, "Standard for the Format of ARPA Internet Text Messages" (August 13, 1982). RFC 822 is a small adaptation of RFC 733's details, notably enhancing the "host portion, to use "Domain Names, that were being developed at the same time.
The "National Science Foundation took over operations of the ARPANET and Internet from the Department of Defense, and initiated "NSFNet, a new "backbone for the network. A part of the NSFNet AUP forbade commercial traffic. In 1988, "Vint Cerf arranged for an interconnection of "MCI Mail with NSFNET on an experimental basis. The following year "Compuserve email interconnected with NSFNET. Within a few years the commercial traffic restriction was removed from NSFNETs AUP, and NSFNET was privatised. In the late 1990s, the "Federal Trade Commission grew concerned with fraud transpiring in email, and initiated a series of procedures on spam, fraud, and phishing. In 2004, FTC jurisdiction over spam was codified into law in the form of the "CAN SPAM Act. Several other U.S. federal agencies have also exercised jurisdiction including the "Department of Justice and the "Secret Service. NASA has provided email capabilities to astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle and International Space Station since 1991 when a "Macintosh Portable was used aboard "Space Shuttle mission "STS-43 to send the first email via "AppleLink. Today astronauts aboard the International Space Station have email capabilities via the "wireless networking throughout the station and are connected to the ground at 10 "Mbit/s Earth to station and 3 Mbit/s station to Earth, comparable to home "DSL connection speeds.
- "Anonymous remailer
- "Anti-spam techniques
- "Bounce message
- "Comparison of email clients
- "Dark Mail Alliance
- "Disposable email address
- "Electronic mailing list
- "Email art
- "Email authentication
- "Email digest
- "Email encryption
- "Email hosting service
- "Email storm
- "Email tracking
- "HTML email
- "Information overload
- "Internet fax
- "Internet mail standards
- "List of email subject abbreviations
- "MCI Mail
- "Posting style
- "Privacy-enhanced Electronic Mail
- "Push email
- "Unicode and email
- "Usenet quoting
- "Webmail, "Comparison of webmail providers
- "RFC 5321 – Simple Mail Transfer Protocol". Network Working Group. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
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We recommend email, as this is now by far the most common form
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there are many more trace fields than those two
- This extensible field is defined by RFC 7001, that also defines an "IANA registry of Email Authentication Parameters.
- RFC 7208.
- Defined in RFC 3834, and updated by RFC 5436.
- RFC 5518.
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- "The Mac Observer – This Week in Apple History – August 22–31: "Welcome, IBM. Seriously," Too Late to License". Macobserver.com. 2004-10-31. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
- Linzmayer, Owen W. (2004). Apple confidential 2.0 : the definitive history of the world's most colorful company ([Rev. 2. ed.]. ed.). San Francisco, Calif.: No Starch Press. "ISBN "1-59327-010-0.
- Bilton, Nick (January 22, 2010). "First Tweet from Space". The New York Times.
- Cemil Betanov, Introduction to X.400, Artech House, "ISBN 0-89006-597-7.
- Marsha Egan, "Inbox Detox and The Habit of Email Excellence", Acanthus Publishing "ISBN 978-0-9815589-8-1
- Lawrence Hughes, Internet e-mail Protocols, Standards and Implementation, Artech House Publishers, "ISBN 0-89006-939-5.
- Kevin Johnson, Internet Email Protocols: A Developer's Guide, Addison-Wesley Professional, "ISBN 0-201-43288-9.
- Pete Loshin, Essential Email Standards: RFCs and Protocols Made Practical, John Wiley & Sons, "ISBN 0-471-34597-0.
- Partridge, Craig (April–June 2008). "The Technical Development of Internet Email" (PDF). IEEE Annals of the History of Computing. Berlin: IEEE Computer Society. 30 (2): 3–29. "doi:10.1109/mahc.2008.32. "ISSN 1934-1547
- Sara Radicati, Electronic Mail: An Introduction to the X.400 Message Handling Standards, Mcgraw-Hill, "ISBN 0-07-051104-7.
- John Rhoton, Programmer's Guide to Internet Mail: SMTP, POP, IMAP, and LDAP, Elsevier, "ISBN 1-55558-212-5.
- John Rhoton, X.400 and SMTP: Battle of the E-mail Protocols, Elsevier, "ISBN 1-55558-165-X.
- David Wood, Programming Internet Mail, O'Reilly, "ISBN 1-56592-479-7.
|""||Look up email or outbox in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- IANA's list of standard header fields
- The History of Email is Dave Crocker's attempt at capturing the sequence of 'significant' occurrences in the evolution of email; a collaborative effort that also cites this page.
- The History of Electronic Mail is a personal memoir by the implementer of an early email system
- A Look at the Origins of Network Email is a short, yet vivid recap of the key historical facts
- Business E-Mail Compromise - An Emerging Global Threat, "FBI