New Mail Filters for Macs, Older AOL Versions

America Online is rolling out new anti-spam battle axes for users of Mac OS/X and older AOL versions such as 8.0, 7.0 and 6.0, in what the ISP calls a second line of defense against the daily onslaught of spam.

AOL officials said the upgraded filters enable users to deploy techniques such as receiving mail only from folks in members’ address books or filtering by keywords. Offered server-side, the latest filters are also more intuitive and adaptive for members and need no additional upgrade or installation.

The new filtering techniques for prior versions of AOL and Mac users were previously only available to members using the more recent AOL for Broadband and AOL 9.0 Optimized, the latest client that is slated to move into retail and wider distribution in October.

The ISP counts about 2.4 billion pieces of junk email that it blocks for members each day, helped in large part by versions 8.0, 8.0 Plus and AOL 9.0, which deploy “Report Spam” features that help AOL members flag email for AOL to block on its own servers before they hit members’ inboxes. The upgrade also includes a Spam Folder where unwanted mail is automatically routed to cull spam from a member’s regular incoming email.

The latest filters are also more adaptive as members use them and update in real-time with each new block of junk that tries to find its way into the users’ inboxes.

David Gang, executive vice president of AOL Products, said the automatic delivery of the newer filters would be seamless to members using earlier versions of the AOL software for Windows or AOL for Mac OS X.

The filters will be rolling out to older versions of the AOL client, such as 7.0 and 6.0, in the coming months, AOL added.

The upgrade comes a few months after a petition that more than one million AOL subscribers signed electronically, which called on state and federal officials to pass laws that crack down on fraudulent and offensive junk email.

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