Medscape Help: Medscape e-Mail Accounts

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is E-mail and how does it work?

Electronic mail (E-mail) may be the most popular use of the Internet today. It allows people to send written messages, files, and pictures to other people, anywhere in the world. All you need is an E-mail account and access to the Internet in order to receive messages. E-mail messages are transferred over the Internet to the recipient's E-mail address, as specified by the originator of the message.

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What is a file attachment and when should I use it?

When you wish to add a picture or a sound file to your message or share a document with a colleague at work or school, you may do so by attaching the desired file to your message. The recipient of the message will need a software application that recognizes the type of file sent, in order to open the attachment. Most picture and sound file types are recognized by today's popular web browsers, thus no extra software is necessary in order to open files of such types.

Note: Attaching large files will result in longer download time for the recipient and therefore is not recommended.

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What is the Signature option?

A signature is a block of text that may be included at the end of your outgoing messages. You can have the signature include your name, E-mail address, company logo or any other text you desire. Try and keep your signature short, no more than a few lines, as this signature may be appended to your outgoing messages, adding overhead to the transfer time of the message. An example of a signature:

   -------------------------
   My First & Last Name
   mylogin@host.domain

   http://www.host.domain
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What does an E-mail address look like?

An E-mail address is a single line in the following format: user@host.domain.

The part before the '@' sign is called the user name. When you sign up, you can choose your own user name, as long as no one else has previously chosen it. This is due to the fact that user names are unique.

After the '@' sign is the name of the system under which the user's E-mail account resides, in this case: host.domain.

There are several types of domains. Companies or commercial organizations use "com", while educational institutions use "edu" or "ac". Government addresses use "gov" and military addresses use "mil". Gateways and other administrative hosts for a network use "net", and private organizations use "org". Countries also have their own domains. Some examples of Country domains are:
auAustralia
brBrazil
caCanada
deGermany
ukUnited Kingdom
A sub-domain is the portion directly in front of the domain name, in this case: host. For example, "commtouch.com" has a sub-domain of "commtouch" with a "com" domain, since CommTouch is a commercial organization. Other sub-domain examples are:
netscape.com
netcom.com
aol.com
compuserve.com
mit.edu
stanford.edu
navy.mil
whitehouse.gov
ieee.org
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What is Web-based E-mail?

Web-based E-mail is the technology that provides the access of an E-mail account by a web browser. Using it is as easy as browsing to the web site, logging on and sending or receiving E-mail messages. Using the web browser as an E-mail client makes the E-mail account accessible from any computer connected to the Internet.

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Troubleshooting and tips for using our service:

Why does my session expire?

Sessions expire after several minutes of idle time. This is done in order to reduce server load and to protect your privacy in case you forget to logout at the end of a session. In order to continue an expired session you need to login again.

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I hit a button and nothing happened for a long time. What's going on?

If you hit a button or click on a link and nothing happens for an unusually long period, or logging in takes too long, your browser is "hanging". This means that it is waiting for information from a server. At certain times during the day, the network connection between your computer and ours becomes busy and sometimes you have to wait a little longer for a response. Sometimes "reloading" the current page may help, but, if possible, it may be a better idea to try your connection at a later time.

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How long will my messages be kept on the server?

You can keep any particular message as long as you like. We will not delete messages except for those that you put in your Wastebasket folder. Your messages in the Wastebasket are discarded two days after you have deleted them. However, if you go over your quota limit (3MB), you will need to manually remove some of your stored messages in order to free up space in your account. If you have some particularly large attachments, you may want to save them to your computer and remove them from your account.

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If I delete mail, can I recover it?

When you delete your mail, it is transferred to your Wastebasket folder. If your Wastebasket has not already been emptied, simply open your Wastebasket folder to read it. Transfer the message to another folder if you don't want it deleted when your Wastebasket is emptied.

If your Wastebasket has already been emptied, or if you deleted the messages from the Wastebasket by pressing the Delete button, there is no way to recover any messages that were in it at the time.

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What should I know about password and security?

Your messages, as well as any other information kept in your account, are password protected. Nobody but you will be able to access them, unless they have your account name and password. Your account name and password are your privately owned confidential information. We will not disclose your account name or password to anyone but yourself.

In order to make sure that your account data is kept confidential, please use the following guidelines:

  1. Do not share your password with anyone.
  2. Logout at the end of every session.

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Are computer viruses, sent via E-mail, a threat to me?

Computer viruses do exist and some can cause significant problems. If you are concerned about your computer's integrity or have important files on your computer, we recommend that you do not download files or programs from unknown sources.

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I am not able to attach files to my messages. What could be wrong?

In order to attach files to your messages, you must have a browser that supports file upload (e.g. Netscape Navigator 2.0 or Internet Explorer 3.02 and later).

Note: Internet Explorer 3.02 users must have the File Upload Patch installed on their system.

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Why are you sending me cookies? Do I really need them?

Cookies are used for many purposes on the Internet. Basically, they are small pieces of information, which are sent to your browser when you visit a web site and can only be read back later by the site that created them. They are often used to make your web surfing more personal and convenient.

Upon logging in to our site, you will receive a cookie that must be stored on your machine. While using our service and switching between screens, the existence of this login cookie is verified. If it does not exist, you may encounter problems using our service.

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Is there a limit to the amount of messages I can store in my account?

There is no limit to the amount of messages stored in your account, however, there is a total disk quota storage limit of 3MB per account. If you exceed your quota limit, you will be requested to remove unnecessary data. Please do so as soon as possible, in order to allow us to provide you with full service.

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What is the purpose of the Default button in the login screen?

With each login, you will have the option of working under the interface previously used to access your E-mail account. In order to do so, mark the Default radio button in the login screen. For example, if your previous login was done under the "No Frames" interface, selecting the Default radio button in the login screen, will return you to your account, using the "No Frames" environment.

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When should I use the "No Frames" interface?

We offer two interfaces to our service: "Frames" and "No Frames". In order to successfully use the "Frames" interface, your browser must support Frames and Javascript. Both Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape's Navigator and Communicator, versions 3.0 and higher, support both these features. If you are not using an appropriate browser, which supports these features, you will not be able to use our "Frames" version, thus the "No Frames" interface is the one for you. In addition, if you are working under a Windows 3.x environment or if your system is behind a firewall, you may experience some problems running Javascript properly, thus we suggest you use our "No Frames" version in order to successfully access your E-mail account.

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How do I print a message?

In order to print the contents of a message, first open the message in the message view window and then use the Print option of your browser (usually located in the File menu or on the toolbar).

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How do I cancel my account?

Please send a request to our customer support department at: techsupp@commtouch.com, including your Web-based E-mail address and password.

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Read Mail

When viewing your Inbox, Sent Log or Wastebasket folders, or when viewing any of the personal folders you've created, you will see the Folder List in the main area and above it, a series of buttons which may be used to perform operations on folders.

Message List

The following information is displayed for each message in the Message List:

  • Indication for a New (unread) message.
  • Who the message is From (the sender).
  • The Date it was sent.
  • The Size of the message (in kilobytes).
  • The Subject of the message (if one was included).

New messages are received in your Inbox and are listed, sorted by date. Your messages can be sorted by any of the fields listed above, by simply clicking on any of the sort buttons, which appear directly above your message listing.

For example, click on the From sort button and your listing will be sorted by sender name in alphabetical order.

Note: Size is included in order to help you control the size and manageability of your mail account. We suggest you continuously maintain your mailbox by deleting large messages and messages with attachments, immediately upon reading them.

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Read a Message

Select a message from the list and click on its envelope, message number or subject line. The message content will replace the Message List in the center of the screen.

Note: The checkbox, which appears next to each message, is not used for reading messages but for moving and deleting them.

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Move a Message into Another Folder

Click the checkbox next to the message(s) you wish to move. Press the Move To button and select the folder you would like the message(s) to be moved into. The selected message(s) will be removed from the current folder and placed in the desired folder.

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Delete a Message

Click the checkbox next to the message(s) you wish to delete and press the Delete button. Your message(s) will be removed from the current folder and placed in the Wastebasket. The message(s) will be kept in the Wastebasket for two days and you will be able to recover them during this period.

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Recover a Deleted Message

Open the Wastebasket by clicking on the Folders button and selecting the Wastebasket from the Folder List. Once the folder has been opened, mark the checkbox next to the message(s) you wish to recover. Then click on the Move To button and select the folder you would like to move the message(s) into. This will move your message(s) from the Wastebasket to the desired folder.

Note: Messages in the Wastebasket will be permanently removed

from the server two days after you deleted them.

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View Attachments

If your message contains attachments, their names will appear in the Attachments field, located in the message header. By pressing the attachment name, you can save it to your local disk or open it in your browser (if the browser recognizes the file type).

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E-mail Address Detection

While viewing a message, the E-mail address(es), which appear(s) in the message body, will be marked red. Clicking on such an address, will open a Compose window, containing the marked E-mail address in the To field.

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Manage Folders

Open Folders

You can navigate to all folders, predefined as well as the ones you've created yourself, by clicking on the Folders button and selecting the folder of your choice.

Select the Sent Log folder to see the messages you have sent. Select the Wastebasket for the messages you have recently deleted. Selecting the Inbox folder will refresh the Incoming Message List with new messages that have arrived since you've last viewed the list.

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Create, Rename and Delete Folders

Press the Folders button to create, rename and delete folders. This screen includes three buttons: Add, Rename and Delete.

  • To create a new folder:
    1. Press the Add button.
    2. Enter the name of the folder in the text box displayed.
    3. Press OK to confirm your operation.
  • To rename an existing folder:
    1. Select the folder by marking the checkbox next to its name.
    2. Press the Rename button.
    3. Enter the new name of the folder in the text box displayed.
    4. Press OK to confirm your operation.
  • To delete an existing folder:
    1. Select the folder by marking the checkbox next to its name.
    2. Press the Delete button.

Note: You cannot rename nor delete the predefined folders. In order to avoid accidental deletion of messages, the deletion of a folder is permitted only if the folder is empty.

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Use the Address Book

The Address Book uses Nicknames as an association for E-mail addresses (me is much easier to remember than something like my_address@host.domain). In addition, you can compose a message and select several Nicknames to be added to the recipient list of your message. (See Addressing Your Message)

Add a New Nickname

Four simple steps:

  1. Click on the Add button.
  2. Enter a unique Nickname in the first box.
  3. Enter the E-mail address in the second box.
  4. Click on the OK button.

The new nickname will appear in the Nickname List.

Note: You can discard changes anytime by pressing the Cancel button.

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Modify a Nickname

Modify a Nickname by marking the checkbox next to it in the Nickname List and clicking on the Modify button. This will open the Modify Nickname window. Make the appropriate changes to the nickname name or E-mail address and press the OK button to continue. Your changes will be reflected in the Nickname List.

Note: You can discard changes anytime by pressing the Cancel button.

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Delete a Nickname

Delete a nickname by marking the checkbox next to it in the Nickname List and clicking on the Delete button. In order to delete more than one nickname, simply mark the checkbox next to all appropriate nicknames and continue with the delete operation, as described above. After the deletion is completed, an updated Nickname List will be displayed.

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Group Addresses

In order to form a personal mailing list, press on the Group button. A window containing Nickname List will open. Select multiple addresses from the Nickname List. Type the name of the new group in the Nickname field, in order to give a name to the group. Once completed, press the OK button to continue.
Note: You can discard changes anytime by pressing the Cancel button.

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Compose a Message

You can send E-mail by following three simple steps:

  1. Enter the recipient's E-mail address in the To field.
  2. Type your message in the large text box.
  3. Click on the Send button.

You can also use several available options, such as: Attaching files to the message, adding your Signature to the message, etc. (See details below)

Addressing Your Message

Which Addressee Field to Use

To:
Put the main recipients in this field. Every E-mail message should have at least one entry in this field.
Cc:
Put additional or secondary recipients in this "carbon copy" field.
Bcc:
If you have additional recipients but would prefer to hide their names from all other recipients, use this "blind carbon copy" field.

Entering the Addresses

If you have created nicknames in the Address Book, you can just type the nickname in the appropriate field. In order to send your message to multiple recipients, separate each recipient by a comma. For example: nickname1, nickname2, recipient3@host.domain.

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Composing Your Message

The Subject Line

Although the Subject is an optional field, it is a good idea to enter one. Your recipients may receive many E-mail messages, perhaps even several from you alone. The subject helps distinguish between the different messages.

Entering Your Message Text

You simply type your message in the large text box. If your message grows beyond the size of the box, a scroll bar will automatically appear.

Tip: You can include a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) so that it is a live link. For example, http://www.host.domain embedded in a message, will be clickable in most E-mail packages in use today. Be sure to include the http:// designator.

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Attaching a File

You can attach a file to your message by clicking Attach. The Attachment area will be opened in a new window. Click Browse... and search for the file or type the full path name of the file you wish to attach. Once found, press the Upload file button and the file name will appear in the Attachment List. In order to remove an already attached file, select the file from the Attachment List and press the Remove button. Finally, press the OK button to return to Compose window.

Tip: The file you attach can be of any type, for example: a sound file, an image or even a spreadsheet. Adding attachments to your message can be done at any time while composing the message.

Note: In order to attach files to your messages, you must have a browser that supports file upload (e.g. Netscape Navigator 2.0 or Internet Explorer 3.02 and later). Internet Explorer 3.02 users must have the File Upload Patch installed on their system.

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Adding your Signature

A signature is a fixed block of text that may be included at the end of your outgoing messages. For example:

 -------------------------
 My First & Last Name
 mylogin@host.domain
 http://www.host.domain

In order to create your signature, please refer to the Preferences page.

Once you have a signature defined, you may append it to the end of your message by marking the Add My Signature checkbox.

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Check Spelling

In order to check the spelling of your message, choose the suitable language from the selection list and press the Spell Checker button. The Spelling area will be opened in a new window.
The first word, which was not found in the Spelling Dictionary, will appear on the top of the page marked by red text. You will see a list of possible suggestions. Select the appropriate replacement from the list or write the replacement yourself in the Change to edit box. Than press the Change button to accept the change or the Ignore button to disregard it. This process will continue until the end of the message is reached. Pressing the Cancel button, before completion, will discontinue the spelling process.

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Sending Your Message

Finished Composing, What Now?

It's time to send the message. Click the Send button and your message is on its way. After the message was successfully sent, a copy of it will be stored in your Sent Log folder.

Note: If for some reason, the recipient did not receive your message, you will receive an E-mail message describing the cause of the problem.

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Set Your Preferences

Our service provides several features, which allow you to customize and maintain your account, so that it will work most efficiently for you. These are called Preferences. Below is a description of what each one of these features has to offer:

Update Mailbox Settings

Name & Title

Enter your Name & Title as you would like them to appear in the From field of your outgoing messages. Filling this field will help the recipient better identify the message sender.

Return E-mail Address

Enter the E-mail address to which your mail recipients will reply. The default value, if not specified, is your free E-mail account.

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Define a Signature

Here you may create or modify a signature for your outgoing mail. A signature is a block of text that may be included at the end of your outgoing messages.

Enter the text of your signature

Enter your signature in the text area provided. You can use this space to include your name, E-mail address, a company logo or any other text you desire. Try to keep your signature short, no more than a few lines, as this signature may be appended to your outgoing messages, adding overhead to the transfer time of the message. Here is an example of a signature:

 -------------------------
 My First & Last Name
 mylogin@host.domain
 http://www.host.domain

Complete the Process

Click OK to confirm your signature and mailbox setting changes. The next time you write a message, your Name & Title will appear on your outgoing messages. Also, you will be able to have your signature appended to the end of your message by marking the Add My Signature checkbox in the Compose window.

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Retrieving E-mail from Other Accounts

In case you have other E-mail accounts, besides the one issued to you by our service, and you would like our service to fetch messages addressed to those accounts, you should fill in the account details in the Other Mail Preferences section of the Preferences window.

In order to retrieve your mail from these POP accounts, you need to press the Other Mail button that appears in the Inbox folder. By pressing this button, the messages will soon appear in your Inbox folder. For example, if your POP account contains 100 messages and you choose to retrieve 20 messages (see Max # of Messages below), each time you press the Other Mail button, the last 20 messages in your POP account will be retrieved.

Login Name:
Usually the name appearing to the left of the '@' sign in the E-mail address (example: john@net.com).

Password:
The password associated with the account. The password is held in strict confidence by our service.

POP Server:
Usually the name appearing to the right of the '@' sign in the E-mail address (example: john@net.com).

Port:
The communications port used when connecting to the POP server. The default for most servers is 110. Normally, you should not change it.

Retain Mail on Host?
Check the box if you do not wish messages to be deleted from the POP server after they have been retrieved.

Max # of Messages:
Enter the maximum number of messages to be downloaded at a time.

Here are some tips on how to configure your Other Mail settings, if you are not absolutely sure of what to specify in each field:

  1. Call or write your System Administrator or Help Desk.
  2. Check your ISP's web site for a page which supplies "configuration information".
  3. If you have another mail program already configured, copy the settings which are used there, into the appropriate Other Mail fields.
  4. Take an educated guess, using a common convention: Many ISP's will use "mail" as the first node of their mail handling DNS (Domain Name Server - a storage area which contains a list of Internet addresses and their alphanumeric equivalent). For example, a Service Provider by the name of net.com might use mail.net.com as the POP Mail Server Name.

    An example using this "guessing" routine: The user, John Doe, has an account, john@net.com. John might try putting mail.net.com in the POP Server field and "john" in the Login Name field.

If the above doesn't work, you might try another guess, by using your Service Provider's name in the POP Server field and your user ID at that Provider in the Login Name field. Using this option in the above example, John might try putting net.com in the POP Server field and "john" in the Login Name field.

Password Information:
Enter the POP Mail password you would normally use, not this service's password. The password is held in strict confidence by this service.

Note: Our service can handle up to three accounts, not including the default account issued to you by our service. If you have opened several E-mail accounts in this service, you will not be able to use them as "Other Mail" accounts, since they are intended to be managed separately.

The changes above will take affect only after pressing the OK button.

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