Posted On:email basics Archives - Emailexplained.com
Email, short for electronic mail, is the transmission of digital messages and digital files. Email messages can be sent within the same computer (between user accounts), within a local network, through an intranet or, most commonly, through the internet.
An email client is a software which enables users to interact with email messages. It is also called an email reader or Mail User Agent (MUA). A user can configure one or more email addresses on the email client and use it as a central interface to handle receiving, composing, and sending emails conveniently. An email client can be web-based, like Gmail or Yahoo, or it can be a desktop email client like Microsoft Outlook.
For an email client to function, the user has to configure an email address on it. This involves specifying the email address itself, the Post Office Protocol (POP), Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP), the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) address, email aliases, port number, and other necessary settings.
The email client retrieves new messages from the service provider’s hosted and managed mailbox at intervals set by the user, or whenever the user manually commands it. Receipt of the emails takes place through the mail transfer agent (MTA) of the email service provider. Sending messages, on the other hand, utilises the Mail Submission Agent (MSA) to deliver messages to the destination email address via the service provider’s server.
Not only can email clients handle multiple addresses, but they can also be configured with addresses from different service providers like Microsoft, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.
An email header is a block of text above the message body of an email. Headers contain information about the message including the sender, recipient, date, and subject, the servers that handled the email as it moved from the sender to the recipient, and time stamps for each server gone through.
An email may have to go through more than one Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) before reaching the final destination. Each time one MTA receives and forwards the email, it adds its own time and date stamp, IP address and other values, giving the mail multiple header lines. These, however, are usually not displayed but provide important information when, for example, trying to track and stop spam.
Headers also indicate information to use in DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) for security reasons.
A Fully Qualified Domain Name, FQDN, is a complete domain name which specifies all domain levels indicating its place in the domain hierarchy. It is specific and leaves no room for ambiguity. A Full Qualified Domain Name specifies the host name, the server, and the top level domain, Top Level Domain. For example, www.example.tv is an FQDN with hostname ‘www’, server ‘example.tv’, and top level domain, ‘.tv’.
FDQN specifies domain levels for unambiguous resolution of Uniform Resource Locators, URLs. This can be likened to the file directory system on a computer hard drive. For example, myfile/folder1/folder2/folder3, with folder3 taking the place of a Top Level Domain.
The subject section of an email includes giving a short description regarding the contents of the contents of the message so that the recipient gets a clear overview of the message body. The best email lines are short, descriptive, and informative which provide the reader a reason to go ahead with the message body. An email can be successful and followed up widely only if it encompasses an appropriate subject.
Long subjects are often ignored and also those subjects which are not centering towards the importance of the message details are also disliked by the end reader. A subject similar to a headline can irresistibly pull the readers towards the message and reading the entire content with due interest. The email subject line is next to the name and is the first thing that the recipient sees hence it must be sound and apt.
An email whitelist is a list of contacts that the user deems are verified to receive emails from and must not be sent to the trash folder. It is a special list of those, who are provided a special privilege, access or recognition. The ones on the list are recognized and accepted. Spam filters which come with email clients have both the lists- the whitelist and the blacklist of the senders and the keywords to search for in the emails.
If a spam filter maintains a whitelist, then the emails from those addresses or domains are always allowed. If a whitelist is exclusive then only the emails from those on the list will get through. In case it is not exclusive, then it prevents the emails from being deleted or sent to the spam folder. Email whitelists are used to reduce the chances of false-positives.
Email worms are also known as mass mailing worms. An infection by an email worm can occur when the recipient opens an attachment containing a worm. Often the attachments appear to be safe and harmless as they come from a known contact. However it is possible that the sender’s email client have been infected by the worm.
When the attachment containing the worm is opened, the email client gets infected and starts sending worms to all the contacts in the address book of the user. This worm is embedded in the email attachments and spreads rapidly using the infected computers email networks. They spread quickly across several computers so that massive damage can occur easily.
Most email worms include unhealthy routines like stealing the data and passwords, they also carry harmful viruses. To prevent email worms an email attachment should be opened only after verifying its safety with the sender.