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Basic Terms & Actions


As with anything new, there is always a range of terminology to master. Email is no exception. The good news is that the same logic of creating traditional mail still applies to email in most cases. Here is a list of common terms that you will begin to use frequently once you immerse yourself in the world of email:

Email Address - email addresses are always written in a standard format: username @ email provider (dot) extenstion.  Your email address is combination of your username, which is assigned to you or you create yourself.
Username and Password - The most basic elements of logging in to your email account are your username and password. Your username is aunique identifier and your password is a secret combination of letters, numbers and special characters that give you access to your account details and messages. If you forget your password, all email providers have a system in place which will assist you in retrieving or resetting your password.
Contacts & Address Book - Email services have built-in address books. Just like a traditional address book, you can add the name, address, phone numbers, email addresses, and many more key details for each contact. When you compose an email to a contact in your address book, a list of your contacts will appear in a drop-down menu so you can select the correct recipient.
To, From (Fr), Carbon Copy (Cc), and Blind Carbon Copy (Bcc) - are basic elements of traditional correspondence. With email, Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) allows you to send a copy of an email message without revealing the address of the recipient(s). While this may raise ethical questions, this a very common practice in business when employees want supervisors to be aware of actions taking place to meet deadlines and expectations. BCC is also used to maintain privacy when sending email to multiple recipients on invitations.
Group Emails - Teams within an organization or a company will send group emails to notify all parties of meeting times, events and schedules. When replying to group emails, it is a good idea to keep responses to a minimum. Otherwise, recipients will end up weeding through long conversations which can clutter inboxes.
Subject - When composing an email, enter a brief subject to reflect the content of your message.  Don't forget to include revision numbers if including an attachment.
Attachments/Uploads - Just as you can send an attachment in a traditional letter, you can also send electronic or digital attachments in email. While this topic may be a bit advanced for new email users, the process is very easy and will eventually become second nature. In order to attach or upload a file to an email, click on the paperclip icon Very-Basic-Paper-Clip-iconThis will direct you to browse the files and folders on your computer where you have saved your documents. Click on the ICON of the file you wish to upload, and then click open. This action will initiate the automatic process of electronically attaching the document to your email message.
Downloads - After sending your email, the recipient will be able to click on the paperclip icon or title of your attachment to begin the download process. Once the file is fully downloaded, the document or photo can be viewed and saved to the local hard drive of the recipient's computer.
Labels - Labels can be created to identify and separate all incoming mail from individual senders.
Folders - Just like paper folders, you can file important emails in folders within your email account.
Inbox - The email inbox is the same as a mailbox. All incoming email is delivered here. 
Sent Mail - After sending email, a copy of your message will appear in sent mail folder. 
Filters -  Most email providers have an excellent feature which allows you to label and filter (or direct) emails from pre-identified email address to specific folders. This is very useful and helps to organize incoming mail. Most webmail applications know how to recognize junk email. It will automatically be sent to your bulk mail folders or SPAM folder.
Bulk Mail, also known as SPAM - When email from an unrecognized address is sent to your account, your email or webmail service providers will automatically direct unwanted or potentially malicious messages directly to your Bulk Mail folder. Bulk Mail is also known as Spam. This process helps to keep your inbox free of clutter and at the same time, it can assist you in recognizing the types of email that can be received with the intention of scamming the account holder. Don't fall into the trap of SPAM, also known as phishing.
Delete - Once you have read email and no longer need to save it, you can simply check the box next to the message(s) you wish to delete and then click the delete button. Your deleted email will be moved to Trash, which you can also empty manually or just wait until the messages are purged automatically. For privacy and security reasons, most people prefer to empty trash on a regular basis.
Log Out - To maintain the privacy of you email account, always log out after you are finished composing, reading, and replying to email.
Compose or New - When you want to create a new email message, click on compose or new to begin. This action will launch the email creator window.
Email Window - The email window is the screen which opehns after clicking on compose or new. 
Body - The body of an email is the same as the body of a letter. This is the area within the email window where you compose your message
Drafts - Many times when you are composing a new email, you may pause while thinking of what to say. Most email providers now have an automatic feature that saves your message until you are ready to send your email message. There is also a save button within most email applications which will allow you save your work manually. This is called creating a draft.
Send - When you are satisfied with the message you have written, you are ready to hit send. Keep in mind that once you decide to send your email, in most cases it cannot be reversed. Some email application used by large companies have a feature which will allow your message to be recalled.
Reply - After you have received and read an email, you will have the option to reply. To do so, hit the reply button and begin composing your message. When you are done, hit send.
Reply All -  They reply all feature lets you reply to all recipients included on the email. This includes any email addresses which have been entered in the CC field. Note: this action will not include addresses entered in the BCC field.
Forward -  In some instances, you may want to forward an email to a recipient who was not included in the original email. To do this, simply hit the the forward button and add a brief explanatory note such as "FYI" or "This may interest you" You will also have the option to compose a more detailed message if needed. 
Conversations or Threads - Emails including multiple addresses and replies are referred to as converstations or threads. This is the back and forth of electronic conversation.
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