Email has become a normal part of our life, so much so, some people actually schedule time for email to avoid it as an all-day distraction. While email is still very new, it’s not going away. We all use it every day and often many times throughout the day.
Millennials would rather communicate through email than over the phone. It has become one of the most reliable ways to communicate without having to spend time on the phone. Did you know that 205 billion emails are sent on a daily basis? Since email, the U.S. Postal Office has seen mail volume go down about 27%.
Is email really taking over the world? How long before it takes out most, if not all of snail mail? Here’s a look at all you need to know about email.
When Did Email Start?
Before email was called email, it was called computer mail. In the mid-1960s, MIT used a simpler form of electronic mail on the Compatible Time Sharing System. This system allowed more than one user to access computers across associated college.
A natural extension of this first system was created around 1965, which allowed a private message to be sent from one user to another. It wasn’t as much about sending a letter electronically, but more about informing the user of a file request.
Next came ARPAnet Mail or Advanced Research Projects Agency Network mail. This was the first network to use TCP/IP and was initially used in 1967. This became the underpinning protocol of the entire internet and we still use it today. The program they used called SNDMSG allowed researchers to leave messages for each other.
The first true email as sent in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson. It was sent with a program called CYPNET, which was an extension of SNDMSG. The difference was the CYPNET could send a message from one computer to another. This was the first time we saw the @ used in the protocol.
Email Becomes More Commonly Used
The 1970s saw email start to become used more often, but only by specialist users. Message management was a part of this as it became necessary to sort the mail and the first email program giving user the control was created. It was called RD which allowed the user to read, forward, delete, save and organize messages.
Commercialized email started to become a real thing in 1983. This happened when MCI Mail was created and allowed those using MCI Mail to email other users within the system. Then, CIS email was offered in 1989, which expanded commercial email even further. Shortly after Lotus Express and other client-based email programs were created.
Email Used Today
Today, we may choose to communicate in so many ways we often forget about the days before texting, Skype and other instant messaging programs. However, we still use email frequently and 205 billing emails were sent and received daily in 2015. It’s expected this number will go up by 5% by 2019, as well.
With the ability to send and receive email on a mobile device, email continues to change. About 33% of emails opened in 2015 were opened on an iPhone with another 15% opened on an Android device. More than 39% of people have more than two email account and 40% check their primary account three times a day or more.
All new technology needs a protocol. Over the years, many have been created for email including:
- SMTP – Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
- POP – Post Office Protocol
- IMAP – Internet Message Access Protocol
All three are a bit different, but allow users to set up email within client-based programs and send and receive messages.
How Email Works
The basic process of email includes generating, sending and receiving. However, there are more than just three steps.
- George and Jim both have email accounts set up.
- George creates an email with his client and puts Jim in as the recipient using the address Jim@jimsemailaddress.com.
- George clicks SEND and the message is sent through a specific port (via TCP/IP) to his ISP’s SMTP server.
- George’s SMTP server finds Jim’s SMTP server and delivers the message to it.
- Now, the DNS server will query the Mail eXchanger for Jim’s domain name.
- Jim’s SMTP server will put the message on the IMAP or POP 3 of his server for download.
- Jim will open his email client and click the Send/Receive button. Then, the new email will show up.
Of course, the process isn’t always friendly. Email has become a hacker’s best friend and a marketer’s favorite choice. This has led to many dangerous messages and SPAM messages sent every single day. In fact, in 2015, the average email user received 12 spam messages every single day. This is predicted to go up to 19 by 2019.
Dangerous phishing emails have also become very common. Some will try to get your personal information, collect your log in for a certain website or install a virus on your computer. It’s important to set up specific security measures for your email.
More About Email
There’s so much that could be covered on the subject of email, a book could be created. Email marketing is a huge part of business today and email has become one of the top forms of communication. It’s used to provide customer service and to sell products and services to new customers.
While email is commonplace today, it will become even more common in years to come. It’s likely going to be the main way businesses communicate and market. Make sure your email is secured properly and you’re very careful with it, however. If you’re not sure about email security, contact your web hosting company.