Over the last few years, we’ve had several friends and family members who’ve had their Yahoo accounts hacked. And inevitably, when we receive random emails from some of our subscribers whose email accounts have been compromised and which are being used to send spam — usually emails with links to malicious sites they’re almost always Yahoo accounts.
We point out right now that this is just our observation, but it seems highly unlikely we’re wrong. We can recall only a couple instances where a hotmail account appeared to have been compromised (“hacked”), and we cannot ever remember ever seeing anyone with a Gmail account who’s account had been compromised.
Yahoo is, by far, the biggest free Web Mail provider. Perhaps the sheer number of users they have has become a goliath they cannot control – or perhaps they grew so fast that they never considered the ramifications of such rapid explosive growth and never put into place proper security measures.
And Yahoo has constantly been a source of some questionable programs — such as the Yahoo Toolbar which, to us at least, seems to be a kissing cousin to some of the malware toolbars like Ask and Babylon.
Of the three top Web Mail providers, Yahoo is the only one which stands on shaky financial ground. While this is no proof that they use questionable methods (like toolbars) to increase revenue, it does seem likely.
Also, Yahoo Mail is years behind Gmail and Microsoft in spam filtering technology — and still, even though competitive pressures should compel them to — haven’t brought their email services up to date with spam filtering or with improved security.
Our opinion is based on nothing more that empirical observation — most all of the compromised emails we have seen come to us (and there have been thousands) at least 98% of them have come from Yahoo Mail subscribers.
Why is this? Why, with all the millions of users that Microsoft (Hotmail, Live, MSN, Outlook.com) and Google’s Gmail have, do almost all compromised email accounts we see happen to be Yahoo accounts? We don’t know the answer, but as we’ve said, not only have we seen thousands of emails come from compromised Yahoo accounts over the years, we’ve had family members and close friends who have had their Yahoo accounts compromised (hacked).
We’re aware that Yahoo has sent emails to some of the people whose accounts were compromised, we can’t say that they’ve contacted all of those whose accounts were compromised, but it’s unlikely that everyone whose account was compromised received a notification from Yahoo. If you are currently a Yahoo subscriber, we urge you to give serious thought to moving to Gmail or one of Microsoft’s mail services (Hotmail, Live, Outlook.com). Your Yahoo account may contain messages containing personal information (bank account info, credit card info, passwords, etc.) or information of sensitive nature — and once you’re account has been compromised, all the information in your account is accessible to the criminal who hacked it. Do you want to take this risk? At the very least, if you use Yahoo Mail, you should be changing your password frequently. We think it would be easier and better if you moved to a safer more secure email service — but that’s for you to decide.
Remember, your Yahoo Mail address and password is your key to all Yahoo services – one your Yahoo Mail account has been breached, the person who hacked your account would have access to all the Yahoo services you use. Please consider moving your Yahoo Mail account to a more secure service such as Gmail or Hotmail, Outlook.com, etc. Once your Yahoo account has been hacked, the damage has already been done.