In this day and age, just about everyone has an email account. Grandparents are able to send quick messages to their grandchildren via email with ease and employers and employees can communicate conveniently and remotely. Something so simple has been created for everyone to use and it's free. Signing up for an email account is easy, you can choose between free providers, such as Yahoo!, Google and MSN or you can go with AOL, MSN and Netscape plans that require you to pay. More features are available to paying customers. There are also other internet providers to go with.
Getting an email address
Setting up a free account is simple. Most are all alike, so Yahoo! will be used as an example. When creating the email account, you will be asked for your name, location and your preferences for a username. You will then establish a password and secret question to lock in your account. Once complete, you immediately have access to your new email account (make sure to keep your account info private). With a paying account, the only difference will be the request for financial information, such as a credit or debit card.
Depending on which provider you decide to set up an account with will determine your email address. For instance, if your user name is Bob760 and you signed up with Yahoo, it will be Bob760@yahoo.com. Simply put the providers name after the @ (meaning "at") symbol, followed by .com at the end (Bob760@aol.com, Bob760@msn.com, etc.).
Once you have your email account set up, you will be able to receive emails from other email account holders of any internet providers, so if someone you know has an AOL account and you have Yahoo!, it's okay. Just pass along your email address to those you want to have it. Be careful of submitting your email address to different web sites to avoid them selling it to spammers (spam is unwanted mail; similar to junk mail you get at home).
Downloading your emails
There are a few ways that you can check your email account's inbox. One, you can go to the internet providers web site (i.e. aol.com and yahoo.com) or you can use other ways to retrieve the mail. On cell phones, you are sometimes able to sign up with express mail settings to get access to your emails right when they are sent to you. You can also use Microsoft Office's application called Outlook. This allows you to synchronize the application with any email account (internet access is required). You must know details about the internet provider, such as whether it is a POP3 account or an IMAP account. Then you will need to provide your username and password before completing the set up.
cPanel is another management system that allows you to access email accounts and mailing lists. It also allows you to manage PGP keys (used to decrypt and encrypt emails), crontab tasks (time-based scheduling service) and FTP accounts (a network protocol used to transfer data from one computer to another, i.e. the internet). Other features are available for an additional fee.
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