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(Electronic-MAIL) The transmission of text messages from sender to recipient. Email messages can also be formatted with graphics like a brochure or Web page, an enhancement that many users like, but that creates more spam and a security risk (see HTML email).

Users can send a mail message to a single recipient or to multiple users. In addition, JPEG photos as well as any other type of computer file may be attached to the message (see email attachment). Mail is sent to a simulated mailbox in the organization's mail server until it is downloaded to the "in" mailbox in the user's computer.

The Messaging System and the Client
An email system requires a messaging system, which is primarily a store and forward capability based on the Internet's Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). A mail program (email client), such as Windows Mail, Mac Mail, Outlook and Eudora, provides the user interface for mailboxes and send and receive functions. Popular email services such as Gmail and Yahoo! Mail are Web based, in which case the Web browser is used as the mail program (see email interfaces).

The Internet Changed It All
The Internet revolutionized email by turning countless incompatible islands into one global system. Initially serving its own users, in the mid-1990s, the Internet began to act as a mail gateway between the major online services such as CompuServe and America Online (AOL). It then became "the" messaging system for the planet. In the U.S., Internet mail is measured in the trillions of messages each year. See email vs. fax, messaging system, instant messaging, read receipt and self-destructing email.

Could They Have Imagined Spam?
When they sent this first message in 1971, could they have imagined the trillions of email messages that would follow in years to come? (Image courtesy of Dan Murphy,

The First Email on the Internet

In 1971, the first email message was typed into the Teletype terminal connected to the Digital Equipment PDP-10 toward the back of the room in the following picture. The message was transmitted via ARPAnet, the progenitor of the Internet, to the PDP-10 in front. Dan Murphy, a Digital engineer, took this photo in the Bolt, Beranek and Newman datacenter. See ARPAnet.

Could They Have Imagined Spam?
When they sent this first message in 1971, could they have imagined the trillions of email messages that would follow in years to come? (Image courtesy of Dan Murphy,
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References in periodicals archive ?
Internet postage will also mean that e-mail marketers will not have to spend as much time retooling message designs to ensure their e-mails get through the filters of internet service providers like AOL and Yahoo, supporters say.
Microsoft says spam is "unsolicited commercial e-mail sent to advertise a product or a service," but merchants contend that most advertising--through the mail, magazines, radio or television--is unsolicited.
For a while you could hold them off by saying that you didn't want campers to be inside, checking e-mail, when they should be outside playing but ultimately they made you put in a system that let them send e-mail for you to print and hand to the campers.
They can allow users to maintain their own personal "white list" of legitimate e-mail addresses, maintain a personal "blacklist" of blocked e-mail addresses or access community white lists or blacklists of known SPAMmer e-mail addresses.
For those looking to use e-mail marketing as a first point of contact, yes.
America Online reported in March that the company filters an average of 22 junk e-mail messages a day per account--up to 780 million per day.
The volume of spam--unsolicited commercial e-mail messages and promotional advertisements--that fills computer in-bins each day has risen to record numbers.
While governments, businesses, and consumers worldwide agree that fraudulent spam e-mails must be eradicated, their methods of solving the problem differ.
* The best way to deliver relevant e-mails is to ask your customers what they want to hear about from you--what topics, products, or services.
Private and public organizations are scrambling to establish policies and procedures for managing the burgeoning volume of e-mail messages.
Spam, also known as unsolicited e-mail and junk mail, has caused extraordinary damage to people and businesses.