Verizon Gets A Bright(mail) Idea

by Beth Cox

Verizon Online offers its dial-up and DSL customers a free spam filter from the message management company.

Verizon Online is executing on a deal to provide all its dial-up and broadband customers with free access to Brightmail's spam filtering software, which sweeps a customer's e-mail box and diverts suspected spam into a separate folder.

San Francisco-based message management and content-filtering company Brightmail calls its software the Spam Detector. Suspect junk mail is sent to a folder stored on a Verizon server, where the customer may review it at any time. Financial arrangements between the companies were not disclosed.

"It's not always easy for an e-mail user to identify spam from the subject line but Spam Detector spots it easily," said Mitch Dornich, senior product manager for Verizon Online, a unit of Verizon Communications .

"It saves customers time and precious disk space by separating suspected spam from regular e-mail and putting it on Verizon Online's server instead of the customers' hard drive."

Dornich said the new Brightmail filter is helping Verizon Online stop between 750,000 and one million spam messages per day.

Spam traveling over the Net is identified by Brightmail's Probe Network, a network of strategically placed e-mail addresses. The network collects spam for analysis by Brightmail's Logistics and Operations Center technicians, who send spam ID updates to Verizon Online.

More than 90 percent of Verizon Online dial-up and DSL customers agreed to have the software installed on their PCs. Customers can opt out if they don't want to use it.

AT&T WorldNet, Critical Path and Earthlink also are customers of privately held Brightmail.

  This article was originally published on Tuesday Jan 22nd 2002
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