Electronic mail, or e-mail for short, consists of messages sent over a network from one computer to another, typically over the Internet. E-mail can be sent and received via newer types of wireless phones, but that typically requires a specific e-mail account.
E-mail in its current form was invented in 1971 as part of the military's computer network - ARPANET (although similar forms of computer-to-computer communications did exist before). Email addresses are in the form username@server
A great advantage of email is that it is very quick and cheap to send. However, this can also be a disadvantage, since criminals and confidence tricksters can send vast amounts of indiscriminate email for dubious or illegal purposes. This kind of bulk unwanted email is known as spam.
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