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Managing Incoming Email Chapter 3 Bit Literacy. Terminology Email client – program which retrieves emails from a mail server, lets you read the mails,

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Presentation on theme: "Managing Incoming Email Chapter 3 Bit Literacy. Terminology Email client – program which retrieves emails from a mail server, lets you read the mails,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing Incoming Email Chapter 3 Bit Literacy

2 Terminology Email client – program which retrieves emails from a mail server, lets you read the mails, compose and send replies which are sent to the mail server. It is usually an independent application, not part of a browser. Examples: MS Outlook, Thunderbird, Eudora Email server - server program on a computer using a protocol like POP3 (post office protocol) or SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol) or IMAP (Internet message access protocol) Web-based email – managing email via a web browser. Gmail, Yahoo mail, Hotmail, AOL mail are some examples.


4 Email is asynchronous Asynchronous (as opposed to synchronous) means that the acts of sending and receiving email messages do not have to be “in sync” or happening within a very short time span You do not have to be logged onto the Internet to receive email Synchronous assumes that the two acts are happening almost simultaneously Synchronous communication examples: Phone call Instant Messaging

5 Where is your email? One question is where is your mail actually kept? Does it reside on the server, where you read it with a browser, or on your local machine where you read it with a mail client? Advantage to web-based email – it is portable, you can access it wherever you can find a browser Disadvantages – you need an Internet connection to see your mail, provider may set a limit on how big your mailbox is on their server Privacy concerns – web-based email tends to stay on servers longer than non-web-based. And if your provider is in the US, your mail is subject to the Patriot Act which allows law enforcement to see your email without informing you!

6 Cautions about email Clicking on attachments? Don’t! One of the easiest ways to get an infected file onto your computer or to get taken to a phishing site Use caution about sending email when you are upset. Email goes in seconds, too late to retrieve! Spam – named after a Monty Python sketch, wastes huge amounts of bandwidth these days Think before you forward email Does it contain personal information which should not be shared? Is the person you’re forwarding to interested in the message? Mail links instead of attaching huge files – some people still have dialup connections! Use encryption for more privacy – PGP is the most common implementation (Pretty Good Privacy) (public key / private key encryption)

7 How big is your inbox? Hundreds of messages? thousands? A full inbox makes it hard for a user to find the new messages – every message is in competition with them It’s hard to prioritize when there are too many messages It’s harder to find a particular message It makes you reread messages because you read it and forgot it It makes other people work harder – they have to remind you of tasks multiple times Larger inboxes are more likely to crash!

8 Psychological Effects of a big inbox Users feel guilty for being late with handling matters, fearful they have forgotten something in the pile of messages Constant reminder of how much work the user needs to be doing

9 Reasons people have a big mailbox Some see a big mailbox as proof that they are important Some are lonely without email Email is a good distraction from real work

10 Never delete email! (except spam) If it can’t stay in the inbox, where to put it? Some clients offer an archive option, all of them offer ‘folders’ to put emails in Why not erase it? If it is a business email, it may be legally important one day Useful to keep for reference purposes For teaching, I keep all emails easily accessible that I send to or receive from a student or an assistant during the semester At end of semester, I archive them all in semester backup

11 Uses of the inbox People use it for things it was not made for A To-Do list Filing system to store messages Calendar Bookmark list Address book The inbox should be to hold new messages temporarily until they can be dealt with (this may mean deletion, it may mean archiving, it may mean storing in a specific folder)

12 Good Daily Practice Empty the inbox at least once a day First, read personal mail (if a business, may not allow personal mail) and removed Spam just removed – make sure you use a good filter! But even it may not be perfect. So remove the spam by hand as needed Deal with the remaining email by filing it in folders appropriately – keep a To-do list and put things on it as you get them, for small things that take a couple minutes, go ahead and do them, get them off the list Newsletters, mailing lists, FYIs – make a media diet

13 How often to check and clean? Some people keep email alerts going all the time That makes it easy to handle mails as they come in Some people read email a set number of times per day, like one If you are trying to concentrate on a project, turn off the alerts for a few hours “Email-free Fridays” in a lot of companies these days Try to reduce the number of email inboxes you read – how many accounts do you have? Do you need another bitstream coming to you?

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