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Tech Industry

Yahoo Mail delivers new spam measures

Internet giant Yahoo launches new antispam tools for its Web-based e-mail service as part of an ongoing effort to curb the Internet's most reviled by-product.

Yahoo on Monday launched new antispam tools for its Web-based e-mail service as part of an ongoing effort to curb the Internet's most reviled by-product.

The Web portal said that as a way to protect their personal Yahoo Mail address from spammers, subscription e-mail customers will be able to set up dummy e-mail addresses for use when entering personal information at Web sites.

For example, if a subscriber wants to register for a book club, he or she can do so using a different Yahoo e-mail address, such as user-bookclub@yahoo.com. Any message sent to the fake address is sent to the user's primary e-mail account, but if the user notices lots of spam, Web parlance for unsolicited bulk e-mail, he or she can delete the address.

Yahoo also said it will offer an improved spam guard for its subscription e-mail service. Yahoo Mail Plus costs $29.99 a year for more features and more e-mail storage than its free version. The company launched an antispam resource center for all of its e-mail customers.

Spam has become a massive problem for Internet access providers, corporations and e-mail providers. The companies are forced to spend heavily on resources to prevent unwanted solicitations from clogging in-boxes and choking their services.

But consumers are the biggest victims of spam, and many e-mail providers, including Yahoo, Microsoft's MSN and America Online have waged a public war against the phenomenon. AOL has won lawsuits against accused spammers and lobbied for antispam legislation.

At the same time, spam-filtering efforts have backfired on occasion. AOL has accidentally blocked some broadband subscribers for mistakenly identifying their e-mails as spam.