Why you need to reconsider your use of Yahoo products

By | March 15, 2013
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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.

7 thoughts on “Why you need to reconsider your use of Yahoo products

  1. Betty Pontious

    I have a U-verse account and my home page is Yahoo. Does this make me at risk?

    Incidentally, about three years ago my paid Hotmail account was hijacked and it was really difficult to overcome that.

    Thanks for all you do.

    Betty Pontious

    PS Tried several times making a donation through my Discover card and it keeps asking me for a correction and it always erases the card expiration year. I do not use PayPal. Please help me correct this.

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      We were talking about Yahoo Mail and services, not the Web site. You can easily change your browser’s home page to something else, you sure don’t have to use what your ISP tells you to use.

      Reply
  2. Mary M

    I appreciate your valued opinion, thanks.

    I was considering leaving my hotmail acct and using my yahoo one as my primary one.

    The reason was I am getting notices from hotmail that they are changing/improving.

    At first I thought it was only by my choice but today the message said I can do it now or they will eventually switch me over to Outlook which I am not familiar with as think it fazed out once. Any further advice appreciated if possible. Mary M

    Reply
  3. Rachel Henderson

    So glad to see the warnings about Yahoo. I cannot stand Yahoo. I don’t like their email, their home page, or anything they do. And yes, their toolbar is extremely hard to get rid of if it becomes installed. I do have a Yahoo email but I never use it except to log in to a graphics group that uses Yahoo Groups. And I really don’t have to do that, since I get emails directly from the group.

    A few years ago, it was revealed that Yahoo turned over information to the authorities. This info concerned some Chinese citizens who had been speaking out against their government. As a result, these people were put into prison in China. Yahoo did this not once but twice!!!! I am very much a freedom loving patriot and this did not sit well with me at all. We still enjoy freedom of speech here to some degree. But for Yahoo to give in to that pressure was a very bad taste in my mouth. SO not only are they grossly inferior in their “services”, they are also politically correct. Anything that is politically correct is NOT good. Good riddance Yahoo!

    Reply
  4. paul

    I had an e-mail account with yahoo & it was loaded with Scammers. The main reason I got it was to chat with a friend I met through a dating site.I finally got fed up with the site and canceled it.I use aol as my main e-mail site.

    Reply
  5. Muriel Schlecht

    As always, I value your opinions on so many things. Personally, I absolutely can’t stand using ANY web-based email on a regular basis….even though gmail is probably the very best of the lot. I once created a Yahoo email account under a phony name only so that I could receive and print out a sample letter series being sent to perspective clients that had requested them. Yahoo eventually closed out that account because of inactivity…at least they said they did.

    Personally I have two Yahoo membership accounts split by
    maybe 10 different Yahoo groups I belong too. I use gmail accounts to receive mail from those groups and only visit Yahoo through a link in one of those emails. Recently I went to Yahoo home page directly and couldn’t believe what they had done to it.

    I sure hope those groups are searching for new “homes” in view of happenings at Yahoo in general. Some of the groups have been going for years, and are fantastic and invaluable. Especially ones used as info resources and support for people dealing with things like “Autism” or some other catastrophic situation, as well as many other great subjects and sharing from like-minded people on a variety of topics. It will be a terrible thing if “groups” got dumped or Yahoo’s horrible security track record threatened “group” participants in any way. Some groups serve as even a “lifeline” for so many, much as Yahoo IM used to be for me years ago.

    I used to enjoy, and depend on it, immensely and had it set to start when my computer went on because of constant contact I enjoyed with a few people in other countries as well as my sister and confidant in Florida. I dumped it years ago because I hated what it was becoming, and the privacy it no longer protected. I still miss those instant communications terribly. True privacy on the internet, or even on the telephone, I don’t believe exists anymore. For that reason alone, I’m writing and receiving a lot more snail-mail letters, for both personal and business reasons. I think it’s still a criminal offense for tampering with US mail, isn’t it?

    Reply
  6. Jean Paquin

    As a moderator on some Yahoo groups, it has become a big problem. I contacted Yahoo and this is what I was told: ‘They explained the process and also informed me it can easily happen on people’s cell phones, facebook, etc… all they have to do is have a valid email account themselves and its almost untraceable but you can find out where the email originated from. The only thing I learned from Yahoo support is that none of us are safe from this.’ If they know this, why don’t they fix it? I have used gmail from day one when y’all promoted it and have never had a problem.

    Reply

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