ITGS Syllabus

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Topic 138

Email by Joseph Toyoshima

With just one click of the mouse, a message can be sent instantly to anyone, anywhere with an Internet. In addition to that, e-mail is completely free. E-mail has many convenient uses but there are also lots of setbacks.

How it works

Email is not as simple as the three-step process we use every time we send an email: type the content, select an address, and send. It also includes going through simple mail transfer protocol, which sends it to the local mail transfer agent (MTA), which looks for the emailing service that accepts the username, and finally sends the message to Bob. Though there are many steps in this process, it can be done in a matter of seconds due to the efficiency of technology.


Most email services do not only come with an address book, an inbox, and a message sender. They provide uses such as chat, news updates, starred messages, a calendar, photos, and many more. You can also send attachments from certain documents through email. One of the many popular uses of email is chat. By using this you can send back and forth messages instantly to the people in the same chat room. Unlike email when your chatting, you use a chat box in which your conversation goes through.

Each time you type a message and send it, the person you sent it to would receive it instantly into their chat box. Basically it’s like talking face to face except your looking at the computer screen. Most services limit their chat to only within others using that service (people using gmail cannot chat with people using hotmail with the gmail account). Otherwise, if the services are the same people can talk to each other around the world at no price except for the Internet and electricity bill.

There also is webcam, where your receiver can view your simultaneous movements perceived by the camera. Another great use of email is sending attachments in which you can basically send any type of file. For example, you’re working with a partner on Microsoft PowerPoint. Even though both of you are at your houses, one can work on PowerPoint and send it to the other, who can also improve on it, and so on. No printer? You can send your work as an attachment to yourself and print elsewhere. Email does not only provide an easier and quicker mailing service but also includes many other useful uses.


Most of us already know about the positive, convenient uses of emailing and we tend to ignore or forget the negatives. By doing so our hard work can be destroyed in a flash. These include file corruption and privacy problems. The most common, in which almost anyone can do is spamming. This is the process where a spammer can send millions of emails and by doing so freezing or lagging (computer becomes extremely slow) the computer, disabling the use of the account. Email services solved the problem by adding a “spam” option along the other message options such as open or delete.

If you click the spam option, all messages from the sender would be removed into a spam folder and blocks the sender. This helps but it is not good to rely completely on it. Another is an email virus, where an infected email would put a virus into your computer when opening it. The best way to avoid this is by not opening any unknown senders. But sometimes when someone emails another, without the knowledge that there is a virus, the virus is spread to the person who opens it.

Also many times people expect an email from someone they do not know and can open the virus. From just spamming and viruses, the precious time you spent on a work could be deleted and never found again. This is why it is very important to save your work not only on your computer but also to a CD or those memory stick things. For these reasons you also should not depend completely on attachment from your email. The privacy problem is a big one because basically every single of your messages can be somehow read either by the government or a hacker. A hacker can get the password to your account or can intercept messages that are sent. This is why you should not write anything exceptionally private or top-secret using email.


Knowing the pros and cons of email we have to wisely use the email in a certain way, not becoming over dependant but also not ignoring the wonderful services it can provide. We need to prevent ourselves from getting too private in our discussions and always having a backup for files. By doing so we can avoid the negatives and enjoy the positive concepts of email.


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