Many people use the Internet to send and receive e-mail.  E-mail means messages sent between computers via the Internet.  There's no paper involved.  A person simply types a message on a computer and e-mails it to someone.  The recipient will receive the message in a matter of seconds and can read it on the computer screen. 

Before you can either send or receive e-mail, you have to have an e-mail account.  There are two ways to get an e-mail account:

  • If you have Internet access at home, your Internet Service Provider (the company that you pay for Internet access) can set up an e-mail account for you.  With this kind of account, all you'll have to do is click on a browser button to access your e-mail.

  • If you don't have Internet access at home, you'll have to set up an e-mail account through a web site.  There are many web sites that host e-mail accounts.  There will be links to some of them at the end of this lesson.



    Once you've found a web site that hosts e-mail accounts, just fill out the site's e-mail registration form. 

    After you sign up for your e-mail account, there are three things that you must remember:

    1. The URL of the web site that hosts your account.
    2. Your e-mail address.
    3. Your password.

    These three things are very important!  If you forget them, you won't be able to use your e-mail account! 

    Write down the URL and your e-mail address somewhere, but keep your password secret.

    When you want to use your e-mail account, use the URL to go to the host web site.  When you click on the web site's "Mail" link, you will be asked for your e-mail address and password.  Once you type these in and hit "Enter," you will be given access to your e-mail account.


Glossary of terms used so far:
  • browser - A computer program that helps people use the Internet.
  • check box - A small box that allows you to select multiple items from a list.
  • click - To quickly press and release the left mouse button.
  • dialog box - A small box that pops up on screen to give you information.  You must respond to a dialog box by clicking on a button.
  • drag - To move an onscreen object by putting the pointer over it, holding the mouse button down, and moving the pointer.
  • drop-down menu - A type of menu in which you must click on a small down arrow to display your options.
  • e-mail - Messages sent between computers via the Internet.  "E-mail" is short for "electronic mail."
  • Google - A popular search engine.  Its URL is www.google.com.
  • Google Chrome - A browser.
  • graphics - Pictures.
  • HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol; the way computers communicate on the World Wide Web.
  • highlighted text - Text with a different background color. This sentence is highlighted.
  • insertion point - A little blinking line that shows you where the next letter you type will appear. 
  • Internet Explorer - A browser.
  • Internet Service Provider - A company that provides Internet access.  Often abbreviated "ISP."
  • link - A connection to another web page.  Sometimes called a "hyperlink."
  • location toolbar - The browser toolbar that contains a text box.
  • menu - A list of options.
  • navigation toolbar - The browser toolbar that contains the "Back" and "Forward" buttons.
  • Mozilla Firefox - A browser.  Firefox is an updated version of Netscape Navigator.
  • password - A secret word that lets you access your private information.
  • phishing- Attempting to steal private information by sending out realistic-looking but fake e-mails.
  • pointer - The little arrow that moves around the computer screen when the mouse is moved.
  • radio buttons- Small circles that allow you to choose only one item from a list.
  • Safari - A browser.
  • scroll - To move a web page up and down on the computer screen.
  • scroll bar- A bar that appears at the edge of the computer screen when a web page is too large to fit on the screen.
  • search engine - A web site that searches for other web sites.
  • selection list - A type of menu.
  • slider- Part of a scroll bar; the box that moves up and down as a web page is scrolled. 
  • terms of use - A description of the behavior you should exhibit when using a web site.
  • text - Letters and numbers.
  • text box - A white box that you can type things into.
  • toolbar - A group of tools to help you use the Internet.  Toolbars are part of a browser.
  • URL - The address of a web page.  Pronounced "earl," URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator.
  • user name - The name by which a web site recognizes you.
  • web page - A computer file that looks like a printed page when viewed with a browser.
  • web site - A group of related web pages.
  • World Wide Web - The part of the Internet that can be viewed with a browser.

  • Yahoo! - A popular search engine.  Its URL is www.yahoo.com.