Email Basics Lesson 2: Understanding the Makeup of an Email Address

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Introduction

When you receive mail from the US Postal Service, it is addressed to you at an address. This address is typically where you live or could be a post office box located at your local Post Office. This address will ensure you get your mail and that someone else does not. The same is true for an email address. It ensures that email that is sent to you does not go to someone else by mistake.

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How an Email Address is Constructed

Email addresses have a similar look and feel to them. It is this similar look and feel that ensures the proper delivery of email. Each email address has three sections. Let’s look at the example below and discuss each section.

an internet address with parts labeled

Username: Each person will be assigned a name that is commonly called a Username, ID or User Account. No two people will have the same username with the same email provider. In the first example above the username is happyday. The username is considered the “local part” of the address.  In the second example, the username is fred.taylor.  Usernames are often seen in all lower case letters, and it usually doesn't matter whether you capitalize them or not when sending email.

@ Symbol: Following the username is a @ symbol. The @ symbol separates the username, or local address, from the last section.

Hostname or domain: The last section of an email address is the hostname, domain name or server. In the examples above, we are using Yahoo.com and gmail.com. Yahoo and Gmail are considered email providers or “servers.”

The combination of the three sections creates the email address.

Important!

Be careful providing your email address to web sites. Some web sites will assure you they will not provide your email address to other sites and this is important. If they do not guarantee this, it is recommended you not provide it. This can lead to spam. Spam is unwanted email that is sent to numerous people.

Interesting Tidbits

People usually pick a username that reflects some part of their personality, hobby or job.

There are thousands of email addresses and people from all over the world correspond with each other via email. The first email was sent May 3, 1978 via ARPANET, the predecessor of the Internet.

Vocabulary and Glossary

Email Address
The combination of username, @ symbol, and hostname that allows for provides for correct delivery of email.
ID, User Name, or User Account
A name that identifies you to the email provider.
Hostname, Server or Domain
Company that is providing the email service.
Spam
Spam is unwanted e-mail messages, frequently with commercial content, sent in large quantities to an indiscriminate set of recipients..

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More Information

Facts about email:
http://email.about.com/od/emailtrivia/Interesting_Facts_Factoids_and_Email_Trivia.htm

To visit the previous website, place your mouse over the underlined link above then click. You may need to hold the CTRL button on your keyboard the same time as you click on the link. You must be connected to the internet in order for the link to work.

How to choose an email name:
http://www.ehow.com/how_14721_choose-computer-username.html

To visit the previous website, place your mouse over the underlined link above then click. You may need to hold the CTRL button on your keyboard the same time as you click on the link. You must be connected to the internet in order for the link to work.

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