Information Age - Online Services

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Online Services

Living in the 21st Century has meant that technology has advanced drastically. Almost everything that we do these days is done using technology and the internet. This has made it easier to do things such as communicate, shop, learn, research, complete documents and download; which we are going to see in this essay.

Communication:
Communication is the act of transferring information from one place or person to another. There are many different forms of communication which now take place mostly via the internet. [1] Examples being email, instant messaging, social networking, online conferencing and blogging.

Email:
Email, short for electronic mail, is a service for receiving, sending and storing messages. It has gained universal use around the world with the spread of internet. Email can be for both personal use and business purposes. Messages sent by email are received on the other end almost instantaneously. Included in the messages are more than just text; images, attached documents etc. Furthermore, email is no longer restricted to a PC or laptop. All smartphones and tablets have the ability to send and receive emails provided they are connected to the internet. [2] An email system essentially allows you to see and store various messages in your mailbox, the sender, subject and the date and time it was sent, compose messages and sent them to multiple users and add document attachments etc. [3] The benefits of this online service is that it is very simple and fast to use; messages are almost instantaneous, email provides a formal and informal way of communicating and having the capability to send almost any type of file or picture message as easily as if you were to send a text based message. Disadvantages of email is that it can often be misused to send hateful messages or even viruses which can be attached to emails, also email addresses can be hacked or spoofed and send or receive spam mail which can block accounts and sometimes even the server.

Instant Messaging:
Instant messaging, also known as IM is a form of communication over the internet which offers an instantaneous, text based message to internet user - similar to a text message sent to a mobile phone. IM is a quick and easy way of communicating with friends or work colleagues. To use, you must open an account with an IM program – such as MSN Messenger. The benefits of IM are that it is a more private way of communicating with one or groups of people as opposed to a public chat room. IM is a much faster and simpler way of communicating as opposed to email as the receiver doesn’t need to log in to read it. So because IM allows users to communicate in real time, users can respond quickly which is especially useful in emergencies. IM is also a great way to stay in touch with family members or friends who live far away and you also save money by instant messaging them instead of making long distance calls. [4] On the other hand, online activity should always be used with caution as IM can be used as ways to cyber bully someone. Even more seriously, random ads and acceptances can lead to meet ups with strangers and they most probably be dangerous sex predators seeking victims. It is also possible to obtain viruses, worms and Trojan horses through messaging. Furthermore, personal information that is shared may make a person vulnerable so sharing information is not recommended.

Blogs:
A Blog is a discussion or information site published on the World Wide Web (WWW). The word stands for ’web log’ and they can consist of discrete entries or posts. Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject or can effectively be an online diary. Blogs can also allow comments to be posted by readers, although this is an option that not all bloggers allow & it is a good way to allow interaction on your website, and is something like a low key forum. [5] Famous bloggers can even make money from the readers and by what they write. They are...
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