Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

January 12, 2017
It’s time to talk about Yahoo email

If you are still using a Yahoo email account you may want to read this article and see if you can find a correlation between your email account and some behaviors I believe are associated with it.

In my computer work, I have suspected for more than two years, criminal behaviors assoiciated with Yahoo email accounts. Now, before you disregard this statement, keep reading and see if you agree with my conclusion.

First, I want you to keep in mind two very important facts that have come to light recently. Fact number one, Yahoo admitted that more than 1 billion Yahoo email accounts were hacked and the information contained inside them was compromised. Fact number two, it took Yahoo more than three years to either discover the hack or disclose the fact. Because they have been in an acquisition mode for quite some time, it stands to reason that they may have withheld this vital information to avoid losing value as they tried to be acquired. I ask you this question, regardless of the answer to fact number two: why on earth would you want to have your email account with a company that didn’t protect your information or didn’t dislose the fact that they were hacked for several years?

As a computer tech, this is what I started to notice more than two years ago. Whenever any of my customers would get a call from a Microsoft imposter, my customer had a Yahoo email account. I also noticed that these customers put their phone number into their Yahoo email account for recovery purposes. As time went on, this correlation continued. Now though, I believe the hackers are using other methods to get your information, or your personal information has been sold or given by one hacker to another.

I have had several customers who have lost money from their accounts in different banks here in Tooele. Even though none of them lost it permanently because the banks recognized the fraud and returned the money, it was a terrible mess they needed to go through to get it back. And of course, accounts were closed, user names and passwords had to be changed. This also opens up the possibility of having issues with your credit too.

Again, knowing that this compromise happened and that the criminals may still have personal information about you, why would you want to take the chance with your money and good credit?

I have helped many customers switch their Yahoo email to one that may be more trustworthy and secure. If you use a PC, I recommend you sign up for a free Microsoft email account. This can be Outlook.com, Live.com, Hotmail.com, MSN.com, etc.  If you use a Mac, I recommend you use an iCloud or Microsoft email account.

Once you export all your contacts so you can import them into your new email account, be sure to forward all your important messages to your new email address. Keep in mind, all the places, such as your banks, your newsletters and subscriptions, Netflix, Amazon and all other streaming accounts, stores where you shop, bills you pay online, and any other place you have used your Yahoo email address to communicate with these places, you will need to change to your new email address. I know this is a time-consuming process, but it is necessary to make certain your assets and personal data aren’t at risk with an email account that may have already been compromised.

After all this is complete, I recommend you go into your Yahoo email account and close it permenantly. I believe that until Yahoo can restore confidence to the public that they can protect our data, nobody should use a Yahoo email account.

This is my disclaimer: I realize that the hackers are very intelligent and perhaps, nothing is protected 100 percent against hacking. My statistics that I mentally gathered over the years were confirmed when Yahoo recently revealed these dated hacks. Some precautions for you: 1. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, give someone access to your computer that you don’t know personally. If they contact you first, whether through a phone call, a website or email, never give them any information. It is a scam. Do not call the number they give you. These are all tricks from criminals who most likely reside outside our country.

I have written about this many times over the years and just last week, I received a call from someone here in Tooele that called a number on a website that popped up stating it was Mircosoft and that their computer was compromised. They called the number, and gave them access to their computer. Don’t ever do this. If they call and say they are from your bank, hang up and call your bank to confirm the issue. If they say they are from Microsoft, hang up and call 1-800-Microsoft to confirm the issue. This is the protocal that will help protect you.

For more than 15 years, Scott Lindsay has helped tens of thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 400 articles about Apple and Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at ScottLindsay@live.com.

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