By Robb Hicken/BBB’s chief storyteller
While rumors ravage the Internet about Yahoo! dumping thousands of unused email address, truths are assuring people nothing will happen when they recycle them.
According to news provider Reuters, 7 percent of the potential dormant IDs are tied to Yahoo Mail accounts. The rest, a company spokesman told Reuters, is for non-email Yahoo services, such as fantasy sports leagues.
Yahoo director Dylan Casey told Reuters, “We’re going to extraordinary lengths to ensure that nothing bad happens to our users.”
The ID-recycling plan is being done to free up desirable ID names for current users. These IDs have been inactive for at least 12 months.
Owners of dormant Yahoo IDs have until July 15 to log in and keep their IDs active. Otherwise, the dormant IDs will be released to new users Aug. 15.
Concerns are that these IDs will then be used to perpetrate fraud.
“Take these steps to secure your ID,” says Better Business Bureau CEO Dale Dixon. “Strong passwords, secure Internet access and swearing to never put your personal information in emails.”
- Never send critical data by email. And, if you do, delete your copy of the sent email immediately.
- Only use encrypted connections. Use web mail addresses – Yahoo, Mail, Gmail or AOL (look for the lock in the browser).
- Manage your passwords. Include letters – upper and lower case, numbers, and symbols.
- Use the two-factor authentication method. Google has introduced a feature for its Gmail users.
- Make strong password retrieval questions. Because of the Internet’s prevalence, avoid questions anyone an easily find online.
- Set up SMS alerts. Some mail service providers will tell users when someone tries to change your password.
- Know how to stop an email hacker. Set up a list of things to do, people to call and items to change if you discover you’ve been hacked.
- Set up a second email address. This second address is where you would direct password change requests.