Anyone can create a personal email account in a matter of minutes and at no cost. Furthermore, this newly-created email account will be accessible from any Internet-connected computer in the world.
Free Email Services
Two of the most popular free Web-based email services are http://www.yahoo.com and http://www.hotmail.com. As well, most other major search engine services, such as http://www.google.com, and http://www.hotmail.ca, a newer e-mail service that may have your first and last name available to use. These services do not cost the user any money. They are paid for by their companies through the selling of advertising on the sites.
To sign up for an account is easy. Simply go to the site, click on "email" if necessary (but not in the case of Hotmail, which is solely an email service and not a collection of services). Then click on something called "sign up" or something similar.
At this point, you will be asked to fill in an online form. The number and depth of questions you are asked varies by service. Hotmail's form is quite simple to fill out. Whichever the service you decide upon, you will need to choose a username and password. For convenience, most users choose a username related to their real name. When you choose a password, select something that is easy for you to remember but difficult for anyone else to guess.
Using Your Account
Once you've created your account, you just need to return to the same site and enter in your username and password. At that point you will be able to send and receive email with ease. Later on, you can explore some of the more advanced features of Web-based email, such as address books, attachments, filters and so on.
Learning about Email at OVRC
For those who would like more assistance with setting up and using an email account, please note that one of Osborne Village Resource Centre's services that may be of help to you in learning email is Individual Internet Tutoring.