• Protected email viewer:
  • Blog
  • FAQ
  • About

Celebrating 45 Years of Email!

This year we celebrate 45 years of EMAIL, one of the most popular ways to exchange digital information. We hasten to congratulate all active users of email with the anniversary and invite you to walk with us on the road called "Email history".

Let's take a look back and see how email technologies were created and evolved.

Email is much older than the Internet. Most likely, the first prototype of email is MAILBOX, the first system for email correspondence, which was used at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965.

In the current form, email first appeared in 1971. It was then that Ray Tomlinson (he developed some useful applications for the ARPANET project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) sent the first email message on the planet. The inventor took the @ symbol to identify the messages sent from one computer to another. Now in different countries the @ symbol is called differently, interestingly often with a reference to representatives of the animal kingdom:

  • In Russia it is a "dog" (sobaka).
  • In English-speaking countries the jerky sound of "at" is a bit like a dog barking.
  • In Netherlands it is "apestaart" ( "monkey tail").
  • In Swedish it is "snabel-a" ("a" with an elephant trunk).
  • The Italians say "chiocciola" ("small snail").
  • At various other languages it's "mouse tail" and "sleeping cat".

Also in 1971, the standard format of email address was implemented - username@computername. It is worth noting that Tomlinson was not asked by his employer to create email , he developed the system himself "mostly because it seemed like a neat idea". He also said that he did not remember what he wrote in the first test message; maybe it was a "test 123" or "QWERTYUIOP" - the letters on the top line of a QWERTY-keyboard.

Later, five years after the invention of electronic mail, Queen Elizabeth II became the first head of state, who sent an email message; but just two years later, the first advertisement message was sent through the network of government and university computers. In 1982, the world heard the new word is "e-mail"; and in the same year, Falman invented the first emoticon to display emotions. It has paved the way for a wide range of emoticons that are used in digital form every day. Now digital emotions have moved on to the next level and are represented by "emoji".

1997 was important for Microsoft. The company bought Hotmail for about $400 million and released Microsoft Outlook. In 1998, the movie "You've got mail" (starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan) came out in theaters and earned more than $250 million in worldwide box office. The picture was nominated for the Golden Globe Award. In the same year, the word "spam" was added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

In 1999 email users got spam messages stating that Bill Gates was going to share his fortune with all users of the Internet. Naive users endlessly forwarded this letter to each other. As a result, a few million users received this letter.

There is an assumption that the estimated number of copies (about 53 million) of this email message can be seen in the email address of Homer Simpson. His e-mail address chunkylover53@aol.com appeared in one episode that was released in 2003. The creators of the cartoon really owned this address, but it had to be deactivated due to the large number of incoming letters from fans. Without losing any time, hackers registered this address again and sent out emails to people asking them to add chunkylover53@aol.com to a friend list in AIM. The emails promised exclusive access to new episodes of "The Simpsons", but actually, the messages contained viruses.

In 2003, to combat email-spam, George W. Bush signed a law that introduced national standards for sending commercial and promotional emails.

Oxford English Dictionary once again was supplemented in 2004 with abbreviations like LOL, LMAO, and others. In the same year, the first multimedia email message was presented at the summit "Modern Marketing", which was held in Vienna (Austria). This innovation allowed internet users to easily share their videos, photos and audio recordings.

In 2005, the first of its kind SPF (Sender Policy Framework) technology was created that verifies the sender's identity. With SPF you can see if a domain is fake.

In 2007, Google made Gmail available to users all over the world. This also included DKIM (a security protocol), which aims to fight against phishing.

E-mail has undergone a slight name change in 2011; now, instead of "e-mail" it's accepted to write "email". Also, all users have been warned that they should change the passwords of their email accounts to more complex ones after a study has shown that the most easy to crack passwords are "password", "123456" and "QWERTY".

Although email became more and more sophisticated, hackers also did not sit still. In 2014, a Sony Entertainment database had been hacked, and hundreds of confidential emails become public containing information about the shooting of movies, fees of actors, as well as what subjects of series can do to influence the minds of the audience to be able to manipulate their desires and decisions. OMG, Twin Peaks and Wayward Pines in reality!

In 2014, we came with SFLetter.com. A public email service, which is designed to preserve the confidentiality of sent emails. The same year, this service was nominated for the "Runet Award" in the "Technology and Innovation" category.

A year later, a scandal surfaced, associated with the use of personal email for secret government correspondence by Hillary Clinton, a presidential hopeful. This case led to widespread inspections of civil servants for the use of personal email at work. In Russia in 2016, the correspondence of civil servants has been audited and it appeared that 78% of the Russian officials prefer using their personal email to corporate mail. More than 60% of the federal authorities are using publicly available email services.

Email has come a long way in 45 years. It is safe to say that after 45 years, email will change into something different. Into what exactlyis hard to predict. Anyway, we will always have "You've got mail", :) and LOL.