Yahoo’s New Email Plan Raising User Security Concerns

Yahoo’s New Email Plan Raising User Security Concerns


(Image source: Yahoo!) BY JOHN O’CONNOR Yahoo’s new plan to release inactive account
IDs so users can score a better email address is raising some concerns about user security.
  The tech company announced last week via blog
post that on July 15th it will be “freeing up” Yahoo email addresses that haven’t been
used in over a year. But the company isn’t just deactivating those user IDs, it’s offering
them to other people. (via YouTube / Yahoo) “In mid July, anyone can have a shot at scoring
the Yahoo! ID they want. In mid August, users who staked a claim on certain IDs can come
to Yahoo! to discover which one they got.” (via Tumblr / Yahoo) Wired’s Mat Honan says while this seems like
a good way to get people to log in again or convert them to their desired user ID name,
it’s actually “a spectacularly bad idea.” “It means that people will be able to claim
Yahoo IDs and use them to take over other people’s identities via password resets and
other methods.” For example, someone who uses a Yahoo account
solely as a backup for Gmail might be vulnerable to malicious individuals seeking to exploit
that user ID to get to their main account. This could lead to a chain of events compromising
the security of previous users main email accounts, social media accounts and perhaps
even bank accounts or other important information. (via Tech 2) A writer for Forbes says she desperately hopes
Yahoo will be deleting all the information associated with defunct accounts. ” … sorry Flickr users who haven’t visited
their albums in over a year. That will be a sad loss of digital property for affected
persons, but is better than giving access to private emails and photos to whoever signs
up for [email protected] (R.I.P.).” Criticism of Yahoo’s plan comes at a time
when fears over the security of personal information on the internet has been heightened by the
exposure of a secret U.S. online spying program. But Yahoo defends their new idea, explaining
they have the proper safeguards in place. “We’re committed and confident in our ability
to do this in a way that’s safe, secure and protects our users’ data. It’s important to
note that the vast majority of these inactive Yahoo! IDs don’t have a mailbox associated
with them. Any personal data and private content associated with these accounts will be deleted
and will not be accessible to the new account holder.” Users who haven’t signed-in in more than a
year but want to keep their Yahoo ID need only sign-in before July 15th to reclaim their
account.

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