Yahoo has been the victim of two of the most audacious hacks to date: one attack in August 2013 that eventually turned out to have involved all 3 billion Yahoo accounts, and a separate breach that took place in late 2014 and compromised “only” 500 million accounts.
If you’re tired of Yahoo’s data breaches, perhaps it’s time to take your internet privacy into your own hands. This guide will show you how to delete your Yahoo Mail account.
Yahoo Mail and privacy risks
Yahoo Mail is a free, web-based email app. It provides the basic tools and features of a modern webmail client for all registered Yahoo users. A paid premium option, Mail Plus, is also available.
When you sign up to use Yahoo Mail, you are giving Yahoo’s automated systems the right to analyze all communications content under your account. This includes Mail and Messenger content, which also encompasses instant messages and SMS messages.
Why does Yahoo analyze my communications content?
Yahoo uses its automated system to analyze your communications content in order to 1) identify spam and malware and 2) provide personally relevant product features to you.
Can I use Yahoo Mail and opt out of ads?
Yes. Yahoo allows you to opt out of “interest-based” ads, which are shown based on the information Yahoo has about you. You can opt out of Yahoo’s interest-based ads here.
Is Yahoo Mail safe to use/good for privacy?
When creating templates as part of its automated analysis, Yahoo guarantees that your personal data will not be targeted. This means that Yahoo Mail is safe for everyday usage. But as with any email provider, you are not advised to store or send your most private information on this service.
Before you delete your Yahoo Mail account
Before you delete your Yahoo account, you should understand that doing so will remove access to all of your Yahoo services. If you are sure you want to proceed:
- Have your Yahoo Mail account passwords ready
- Delete any child accounts linked to your main Yahoo account first
- Remember that account deletion requests are final—you won’t be able to recover a deleted account
- Make sure you have a functioning email account for communications purposes
How to delete your Yahoo Mail account
Step 1: Visit the Yahoo account deletion page and sign in with your Yahoo credentials. You may need to provide an account verification code.
After signing in, you will see the Terminating your Yahoo! Account page.
Step 2: After verifying your Yahoo ID is correct and reviewing the account deletion warning, enter your Yahoo password.
Step 3: Scroll down and enter a visual or visual code. You can request for a new code if you cannot see or hear the current code.
Step 3: Click on Terminate this Account.
And that’s it! Your Yahoo (including Yahoo Mail) account has been deleted!
Some FAQs about the Yahoo Mail data breach
What happened in the Yahoo Mail data breach?
On September 22, 2016, Yahoo revealed that a third party had stolen details from over 500 million Yahoo user accounts in late 2014. On December 14, 2016, the company announced a separate breach involving the accounts of 1 billion Yahoo users, which took place in August 2013. Yahoo later determined that this breach actually affected all its users at that time, a whopping 3 billion accounts.
What data was stolen from Yahoo?
In both data-breach incidents, the stolen data included personal information such as names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. Yahoo stated that the stolen data did not include users’ bank account details or credit card information.
Yahoo also disclosed that hackers had created forged cookies that would allow them to access users’ accounts without a password. Yahoo has since invalidated the forged cookies and notified affected users.
Who stole the Yahoo account information?
Yahoo believes the breaches were unrelated but performed by state-sponsored third parties. In 2017, the U.S. Justice Department charged four men, including two Russian intelligence officers, in connection with the 2014 breach.
Has my Yahoo Mail account been hacked?
Yahoo has contacted the owners of all potentially affected accounts. If you have not heard from Yahoo, chances are your account is safe.
However, do periodically check the behavior of your Yahoo Mail account. If you are:
- Not receiving emails
- Receiving a lot of spam
- Receiving login notices from strange places
- Receiving complaints from contacts that you are sending them spam
Your account might be affected. For help on your account, contact Yahoo Support for assistance.
How can I protect my Yahoo Mail account?
Do your part to protect your Yahoo Mail account.
- Never check your email on a public Wi-Fi connection
- Use a VPN whenever you check your email
- Change your Yahoo Mail password
- Turn on two-step verification for Yahoo Mail
Do more to protect your internet privacy
Wondering what else you can do to enhance your internet privacy? Here are some steps you can take.
- Use ExpressVPN. While “pausing” Google Web & App History prevents Google from collecting data about you, it doesn’t prevent your ISP from tracking what you’re doing online and potentially sharing it with corporations and governments. To hide your online activity from your ISP, use a VPN like ExpressVPN.
- Use Tor Browser. Tor hides your location and online activities from anybody doing network surveillance or traffic analysis, so your internet activity is difficult to trace back to you. It’s one of your best bets for maintaining anonymity online. To maximize the effectiveness of Tor, be sure to read these tips: Want Tor to really work?
Safe browsing, everyone!
Want more help with de-cluttering your online life? Check out ExpressVPN’s guides on: