In This Chapter
Configuring an e-mail account
Receiving and reading e-mail
Cleaning up junk e-mail
Sending and receiving e-mail is one of the most popular uses for the Internet. E-mail is fast, (almost always) free, and accessible to anyone with a computer and an Internet connection.
To send and receive e-mail, you first have to set up an e-mail account. The three types of e-mail accounts you can set up are POP (Post Office Protocol), IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol), and Exchange.
A POP e-mail account usually transfers (moves) e-mail from the POP server computer to your computer. An IMAP or Exchange e-mail account stores e-mail on its server, which allows multiple individuals to access their e-mail accounts simultaneously. Most individuals have POP accounts, whereas many corporations have IMAP or Exchange accounts.
When you have an e-mail account, you often have two choices for reading and writing messages:
Through a Web browser, such as Safari or Firefox
Through an e-mail program, such as the Mac's free Mail program
You don't have to choose between the methods because you can use both — an e-mail program on your Mac, and a Web browser on your Mac or on another computer, such as at your friend's house, or in an Internet cafe — to access one or more of your e-mail accounts.
Accessing an e-mail account through a Web browser is simple because you don't need to know how to use another ...