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Yahoo! sets decoy email traps for spammers

Cut and run

Yahoo! has rolled out email enhancements and tools that enable users to set up hundreds of disposable decoy addresses, which if compromised by spammers and swamped by junk mail, can be deleted without affecting the primary account.

In much the same way that good old-fashioned pop3 accounts have long allowed users to set up practically unlimited email addresses, the Yahoo! AddressGuard system lets users set up secondary email addresses that are managed from the primary mail account.

"If at any time that address is sold or harvested by spammers, the email user can delete the address without affecting their primary email address," Yahoo! said.

The premium email services will only be available to subscribers of the firm's Mail Plus package which sports a $29.99 per year price tag.

According to Yahoo! the offering will be welcomed by its premium rate subscribers as some 45 per cent of these customers who responded to a recent survey say they are uncomfortable giving out their primary email address when purchasing products online. More than 70 per cent said they did not want to use their main email address to join an online community through a news group, message board or chat room.

In addition to the AddressGuard offering Yahoo! has also unveiled a spam filter dubbed SpamGuard Plus which can be personalised by "teaching" the system to tell the difference between solicited and unsolicited mail via "This is spam" and "This is not spam" buttons. The firm has also launched an Anti-Spam Resource Center where consumers can find out tips on beating the spammers. ®

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