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Alan German, left, and Jeff Dubois of the Ottawa PC Users’ Group will reveal the mysteries of email on April 23.

Experts help unravel mysteries of email at upcoming workshop

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The mysteries of email will soon be revealed. “I think what’s happening is people don’t fully understand how email works,” said Jeff Dubois, program co-ordinator with the Ottawa PC Users’ Group, a non-profit organization that brings PC enthusiasts together for presentations and other events. Taking the confusion out of email for the average user has prompted Dubois and the group’s treasurer, Alan German, to deliver an email workshop for the public titled, “Understanding email, everything you need to know and a few things you don’t.” The event will be held at the Alta Vista branch of the Ottawa Public Library on April 23, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. “Why this is particularly important is because more and more people are getting smartphones and tablets and mobile devices,” said Dubois, an Alta Vista resident. People still often rely on their desktops or laptops for word-processing and other applications, but they’re turning more to mobile devices when checking and composing emails. “What happens is you have a mobile device and you set up your email, but then you find that, ‘Gee, that (email message is) on my phone but it’s not on my desktop (or vice versa),” Dubois said. Users may also be faced with the problem of unsuccessfully searching for the same emails on all the platforms they use. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Dubois has his email configured so that he can access his email programs on all of his devices, even if they are not connected to the Internet.

“That could be very important,” he said, adding this will also be a feature of the upcoming presentation. The discussion will also explore the benefits of having an email address that isn’t tied to an Internet provider. Additional topics during the four-hour workshop will include some of the technical aspects of email, as well as the threats and vulnerabilities of email and how to deal with spam and malicious content. Emails can often look like they’re from a reputable source, when, in fact, they are actually fake. Senders are often after your money or there may be viruses embedded in attached links. “We show a few tricks on tracing emails so you can see exactly where it comes from,” said Dubois. The workshop will also explore how people use their email, as well as the ins and outs of mail clients, such as Outlook, and webmail. “Most people don’t know the difference between webmail and a mail client,” said Dubois, adding that participants will also learn how they can access their emails in a phone app rather than just via a website. The workshop is at the Alta Vista library branch, located at 2516 Alta Vista Dr. Refreshments will be provided. Pre-registration and pre-paying the $10 fee to attend the workshop are recommended and can by done by visiting opcug.ca/public/index. htm. The fee will help the group offset the cost of renting the library space, said Dubois. Those interested can also register and pay at the door if space permits, but Dubois said that 20 people had already registered by April 7 and the meeting room only holds 35 people.

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