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Yahoo launches anti-spam advertising campaign

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LONDON: Internet service provider Yahoo! launched an advertising campaign to support the worldwide anti-spam initiative it is spearheading along with Microsoft and AOL. As part of Dump The Junk Day, Yahoo! has set up an e-mail address – dumpthejunkaward@yahoo.co.uk - to encourage people to name and shame people who perpetuate spam.

It has also developed a series of tips for Internet users and businesses on avoiding the pitfalls of spam, at www.yahoo.co.uk/emailmasterclass

Quoting Ferris Research, Yahoo said that unsolicited e-mail, which costs European companies around ?1.5bn a year, will exceed legitimate e-mail this summer unless action is taken now.

The "Dump The Junk Day" initiative, which is designed to educate the UK's residents about spam via their rubbish, using branded dustbin lorries, binmen, bins and bags, was welcomed by e-commerce minister Stephen Timms.

"The privacy and electronic communications directive aims to crack down on unwanted e-mails and give control back to the consumer,” Timms was quoted as saying in a Computer Weekly report. “But regulation is only part of the solution. Technology has an important role to play and it is essential that we educate users on how to stop their inbox clogging up with unwanted e-mails. I applaud initiatives such as Yahoo's 'Dump the Junk Day' that aim to do just that.”

'Dump The Junk Day' follows the release of a Yahoo European survey, which revealed that:

* 94 per cent of Brits surveyed find junk mail hugely annoying, but most do not know the best ways to tackle it.

* 56 per cent of Britons are unwittingly perpetuating the cycle of spam by replying to junk mail. Spammers often trap the public and confirm e-mail addresses are real by offering fake clauses to opt-out of a mailing list.

* More than 25 per cent of people had been fooled into opening junk mail believing it to be genuine communication

* Only 2 per cent of British Internet surfers have made a purchase in response to junk mail. However, if a junkmailer sells herbal Viagra for ?30, pays ?1,000 for a list of 100,000 e-mail addresses and gets a 2 per cent response rate, s/he will earn ?60,000.

Yahoo Mail, UK, head in the UK, John Webb was quoted as saying: "Our research shows that many British Internet surfers do not have the knowledge to tackle junk mail effectively with over half of Britons actually helping to perpetuate the junk mail cycle. This lack of know-how and the feeling of junk mail fatigue in the UK has inspired us to help educate the public and businesses. We don't want to be in a situation where the number of junk mails sent overtakes solicited e-mails."

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