Yahoo! Recycled email addresses can pose problems, but not likely

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.”

BBB suggests:

  • 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.
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3 Comments

Filed under News You Can Trust

3 responses to “Yahoo! Recycled email addresses can pose problems, but not likely

  1. Mark Burrows

    Personally for me, there are a few things about Yahoo mail I like. First it has much better parameters for setting up protocols for what mail you wish to receive and what is junk mail, much better than Hotmail. Google Mail is even better. I don’t get any junk there.
    I do caution people about Yahoo Messenger. Please, do not accept invites from people that you do not know. Same thing with Skype. Actually apply that advice to Facebook or any other social site.
    Also, if you are on any social sites, make sure you put a block on your profile that only allows people on your chosen contact list to see. If you have an open profile, this allows some insight to con artists and scam operators of your character as well as your email address. The less they know about you, the less likely they will target you.

  2. yahoo is POS

    This is outrageous, they are going to extraordinary lengths to ensure nothing bad happens? how would they do that? they need to work for NSA to ensure no such harm happens. the idiots at yahoo never amazes me with how bad they treat customers. say for example you don’t login to your email for over a year, and this gets recycled, then your email receives old emails that contain account info, for example your bank account, or facebook or personal email. I would love to ditch yahoo email, unfortunately, I have important one I’m using for years, and I pay for it worse to use forwarding to my gmail account and to keep it from being inactivated. my advice to any new person to stay clear of yahoo. what a piece of shit. I have some fake accounts, and I still don’t want them to go. I have logged in few of them, but some are gone.

    • Mark Burrows

      I can understand some people feel it necessary to have fake accounts. They have some notion that by having fake accounts they can route and direct unsavory characters and emails to such accounts. Let’s take a reality check. Why would anyone really want a fake account? Answer: So they can set up a false identity for the perpetration of creating the illusion of being someone they are not. Now, this might be fantasy role playing, but from a professional perspective of in depth study, it is just one tiny step to pushing that fantasy role into dangerous waters of becoming an annoyance to bully, act presumptuous, and plague the internet with ignorance and and base language.
      There is no real honesty in having a fake account. Having a well controlled and protected account is a different story. One does not need to have multiple accounts on a single site. In fact, every once in a while they have to do a massive check where they will either shut down the site completely or run a portable version on a backup server which will cause lots of delays, signal dropouts, and disconnects. When they have completed this system run, they will find many accounts that have different names, but all the other information is the same such as IP address, personal name, home address, etc. They will determine which is the most recently used one, and close the older accounts. Think about this, they need to economize as well. The more the eliminate the deadwood, the more efficient the server will run without them having to spend more money to expand their server equipment and option. Since most people do not pay for their services, they should not shed tears.
      Unless you wish to invite risks, do as I suggest. Make your profile private, and set it to be only viewed by those you choose to see it. If you do this, then you can not be caught by emails that start out by saying, “I read your profile, and I find that you are an interesting person.”
      If all your profiles are blocked from general viewing, then you will know that you are being told a falsehood. Please, do not engage these people. I do it only because, I attempt to turn the tables and catch them.
      The great thing about fighting internet crime, is that I don’t have to show up in a back alley with guns a blazing. It is a matter of intense tracking, that is taken out of my hands by higher authorities once I have got the trouble maker to give up a location. You would be extremely surprised how many countries in the world frown upon internet abuse. Here is a huge surprise for you. The Nigerian government is really upset, and has sworn that if anyone is caught on Nigerian soil behind these emails will see harsh times in prison. No one wants to go a Nigerian prison, they insist you keep up your strength with a high protein diet, that includes live insects. Well, even though this is common fare for some of the peoples of Africa that live in the deep jungles, it is not a favorite of the more modern civilized cities and towns. Otherwise every day is an episode of Fear Factor.

      Mark Burrows

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