Even if you grew up with the traditional mailing system and you are reading this today, then you have probably heard about emails. If you own a computer or cell phone and are a professional, business owner, or student, then chances are you are quite familiar with emails and even have your own email account.
Email is short for electronic mail which pertains to sending a message or receiving one with the use of electronic devices. It’s one of the most widely used digital platforms across the globe and is arguably one of the most convenient ways to communicate with anyone, anywhere.
Email allows you to communicate with multiple people at once. It also makes for easier correspondence management since email providers have tools that allow you to label, filter, and prioritize your mail among other things. Email also offers more privacy since each message goes directly to your personal email account.
What You Will Need To Receive Email
You will need two things: an electronic device with internet access and an email account. Your electronic device could be a computer, tablet, cell phone, and the like as long as it can connect to the internet. While you would need internet access to send and receive new emails, you will still be able to access previously received and sent emails even without internet connectivity.
Of course, to send an email, you would need to have an email account. We’ll discuss how to set one up later. Take note that aside from your email address, you will also need the email address of your intended receiver.
Email Account Breakdown
For email accounts, you will need to sign up on a webmail provider. Then, you will need to come up with an email address. Email addresses have a standard format that includes a username, the symbol “@”, and the email provider’s domain. The username is your identity so it could be your name or anything you wish to use, just make sure that you choose something appropriate for professional purposes. The email provider refers to the website that hosts your email account. An email address would usually look like this: [email protected]m.
Nowadays, the top three free web-based email service or webmail providers are Google’s Gmail (gmail.com), Yahoo! (yahoo.com) and Microsoft Outlook (outlook.com). These are the top choices due to their accessibility and convenience. There are also email addresses that are hosted by organizations, schools, or companies usually for professional purposes – instead of .com, the email address suffix could be any of the following, .org, .edu, .gov, and the like.
Step 1: Set-Up Your Email
First off, set-up your email account. On Yahoo! Mail, simply click the Create Account, click Sign Up for Outlook.com, or Create an Account for Gmail. You would then need to fill out all the necessary information that’s prompted during your account set-up. Make sure to come up with an appropriate username especially if you will be using it for school or work. It is also important to come up with a strong password to ensure your privacy and data security.
Step 2: Start Using Your Email
After setting up your account, you can start sending and receiving emails. If you often use your cell phone, make sure to set-up and connect your email address to it. Also, be sure to practice navigating the email interface.
One of the aspects you must familiarize yourself with is the Inbox where you can see and manage all received emails. You would have to click on a message to view its content as well as choose what to do with the email. In Gmail, you may choose to reply to the email, delete it, archive it, and report it as spam among other things.
The Compose Pane is another important aspect you should be familiar with. In Gmail, simply click on the “+” or “compose” button for the Compose Pane to appear. Input the email address of your receiver, fill out the subject line, and then compose your message. There are options at the bottom of the pane that allows you to attach or insert a file, insert a link or a signature, and more. Once completed, you may now send the message or even schedule it for sending.
You can also check on your Sent and Drafts. There are many other features of having an email including creating a contact/address book to keep a record of all your email contacts.
Email Etiquette and Security
Aside from email basics, you must also learn and practice email etiquette. Remember that there is a time for casual email messages and formal ones. The tone must always be taken into consideration when you write an email. This is especially crucial when you are writing a business email as it may very well affect your whole career.
It is worth mentioning that whether you write an email in a casual or formal tone, you must always keep it professional. It is often conceived that formal equates to professional. The thing is, professionalism must always be observed even in sending emails especially when it concerns more serious business. Avoid using inappropriate words or sending inappropriate messages.
There is also the so-called attachment etiquette. Always mention in your email any file you attach and avoid excessively large attachments. Moreover, only send related and relevant attachments especially in business settings.
While there are security features in place, email is still not completely secure. Avoid sending sensitive data like credit card numbers and social security numbers. Be cautious as well when you receive messages from unreliable sources. Avoid clicking on links or giving out personal data on such emails. Also, avoid opening attachments from unreliable sources as this may contain malware.
An email is indeed a convenient tool of communication. Take advantage of it and maximize its uses by familiarizing yourself with its features. Just keep in mind that it is always best to observe proper etiquette and safety precautions to avoid falling victim to cybercriminals or your own carelessness and negligence.