Anatomy of an E-mail Message
E-mail messages are similar to letters, with two main parts:
The header contains the name and e-mail address of the recipient, the name and e-mail address of anyone who is being copied, and the subject of the message.
Most e-mail programs also display your name, e-mail address and the date of the message.
The body contains the message itself.
Just like sending a letter, you need the recipient's correct address. But with e-mail, spelling is critical. If you use the wrong address or mistype it, your message will bounce back to you--the old Return to Sender, Address Unknown routine.An Electronic Postmark
When you receive an e-mail, the header tells you where it came from, how it was sent, and when. It's an electronic postmark.
Unlike a letter, which is sealed in an envelope, e-mail is not as private. It's more like a postcard. Messages can be intercepted and read by people who shouldn't be looking at it. Avoid including any confidential information unless you have a way to encrypt it. For more on this, read "How Private is Your E-mail?"
Last update: Jan 11, 2010