Email on the Road
If you are anything like me, then you've come to depend on email. In fact, I
must read my email several times a day or I feel very uncomfortable. This
applies to both my email from work (which I check a few times after I get
home and on weekends) and my personal email (which I might check once or
twice from the office.
Why is it important? Well, email is communication, and I love to
communicate. I write emails at home to discuss my articles and web site, to
talk to family and friends, and to order products or get support. At work I
use it constantly to deliver tasks to the people who work on my team, answer
questions from the boss, and keep in contact with my vendors, users and
One of the problems that I face when attempting to get to my email in either
location is how to access the POP server (a POP server is the place where
your messages are stored until you read them in your email client).
What you need to do is use one of the web based email services which allow
you to read your email messages from any POP server. See "Free stuff
Headquarters - Email" for a list of services which are available. In
addition, your own ISP or web host may provide this functionality for you.
It's easy to set this up once you've settled on a service. They will need
you to enter your email address, account name, password and POP server name.
Before you enter this data, you may want to be sure your service is secure
while you are filling out the form. Basically, before you press the SUBMIT
button, see if the URL begins with "https" or the little lock is shown in a
locked position. If so, you are fine. If not, you may be transmitting your
password in the clear, which means it could be intercepted by an evildoer.
Now that you've got a service you can pick up your email. Be sure to check
the box which says "leave email on server" or "do not delete messages" or
something like that, unless you are absolutely sure you want to delete them.
What this does is leave the messages on your POP server until you read them
with your normal email client.
Okay, now what? Well, when you travel you can find a place to read your
email. Let's say you are at a convention. You could find a kiosk which
allows for internet access and viola, you can read your email. Sometimes the
salespeople will let you use one of their screens if they think you might be
or might become a customer. Airports, libraries and other places also
commonly have computer and internet access for a fee.
Some cautions are in order here. By their very nature these kinds of public
systems are not secure. Just be sure you use your common sense and don't do
anything you would not want to broadcast to the entire planet. Also, be sure
the email service that you choose stores the password for you - never enter
your email account password on a public system. Thus, you should enter your
password once - when you set up the email account.
It's also a good idea to change your POP email account password more often,
most especially after you return from your traveling.
Personally, I prefer to carry a laptop or handheld device (such as a palm
pilot or Jornada) with me when I travel. This way I can pick up my email
from the hotel room or anywhere I can find an ethernet jack, without
worrying about the inherent security issues of using a public system.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at
http://www.internet-tips.net - Visit our website any time to read
over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your
internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.