I created my first Yahoo email account back in the late 1990s, but I stopped actively using it when Gmail introduced their email service and I made that switch. So that Yahoo account is still there, just not being used.
I recently got an email from Yahoo that was pretty outrageous in light of recent events. That email started like this: “Dear Scott, We’re committed to your account security…“. If there’s any company that is unable to keep my account secure, it’s Yahoo.
A few months ago, I wrote about Yahoo’s revealing that they had been hacked by some other country’s government back in 2014. Over 500 million Yahoo users had their data potentially stolen. This included email addresses, passwords, and security questions. This was not revealed to their user base until 2016.
It has also been revealed that Yahoo built a software tool that allowed them to search through their users’ private email messages, at the request of some of our own US government agencies.
And now, most recently, Yahoo has admitted ANOTHER attack on their servers that resulted in the private information of more than ONE BILLION of their users being compromised.
So, dear Yahoo, I hope you’ll forgive me if I question how committed you really are to keeping my account secure.
In fact, at this point, I’ll be actually deleting my Yahoo account and all of the data contained in it – and I recommend you do the same. In the past, I’ve told my clients that if you want to switch email addresses you don’t really need to do anything with the old email account other than just don’t use it any more. But with Yahoo demonstrating time after time that they are incapable of keeping anything secure, we need to take it one step farther and just get rid of those accounts completely.
Important note: before you delete your Yahoo account, it’s a good idea to check and make sure you don’t need it any more. For example, on my Gmail account, I still had the Yahoo email as the alternative email address to use for account recovery (in case I forgot my password, for example). You need to check this and make sure you definitely don’t need to use this Yahoo account for anything whatsoever.
Another important note: when you abandon your Yahoo account, there is the possibility that someone else could come along and create their own account with that email address. Just something to be aware of.
And – when you delete your Yahoo account, you are also deleting your Flickr account.
With all that being said, here’s how to delete your Yahoo account:
1. Go to their termination page – https://edit.yahoo.com/config/delete_user (you’ll have to sign in to your account)
2. Then you’ll see all of the warnings and disclaimers, so read that and then they’ll ask for your password once again:
3. And finally, you’ll need to enter the “prove you’re human” letters and click the “Terminate this account” button:
If the termination was successful, you’ll be taken to a confirmation screen that tells you the account is scheduled for deletion and you no longer have access to it. It actually doesn’t get deleted from Yahoo’s servers for about 90 days.
What if you want your data removed from Yahoo sooner than 90 days? In that case, go through your emails and folders and whatever information you want gone and delete it manually before you actually delete the account itself.