Is Your Yahoo Mail Account Safe? 10 Ways to Stay Secure

Ben Stegner 16-01-2018

Worried that your Yahoo account could use some extra security? It’s a valid concern. Over the past few years, Yahoo has suffered from several breaches and security hacks The Major Cybersecurity Events of 2017 and What They Did to You Were you the victim of a hack in 2017? Billions were, in what was clearly the worst year in cybersecurity yet. With so much happening, you may have missed some of the breaches: let's recap. Read More .


If you choose to stick with Yahoo Mail The New Yahoo Mail Is Actually Rather Good Yahoo Mail has been given a major makeover. It's now cleaner, faster, and more able to compete with the likes of Gmail and Outlook. No, seriously. Read More or just need a Yahoo account for Flickr, here are ten ways to increase your account security.

1. Set a Strong Password

No guide to security would be complete without this basic tip. Your email is a critical account because you use it to log into so many other services. If someone broke into your Yahoo email, they could reset passwords on other sites, and really mess with your online life.

That’s why you should upgrade your password strength before you do anything else. Even if you’re already using a strong password, changing it is always a good idea in light of the past breaches Yahoo! We Lost Your Data! Two Years Ago... Web giant Yahoo has suffered an enormous data breach. The breach, which took place in 2014, resulted in the information of 500 million Yahoo users being offered for sale on the dark web. Read More .

Start by signing into your Yahoo account, then click the profile picture in the top-right. Choose Account Info to open your settings.

yahoo mail account security tips

Then click the Account security tab on the left sidebar. Select the Change password link and type your new password twice. Remember to create a strong password How to Create a Strong Password That You Will Not Forget Do you know how to create and remember a good password? Here are some tips and tricks to maintain strong, separate passwords for all of your online accounts. Read More and don’t re-use one from another account. Start using a password manager You Need to Start Using a Password Manager Right Now By now, everyone should be using a password manager. In fact, not using a password manager puts you at greater risk of being hacked! Read More if you have trouble remembering them all.

yahoo mail account security tips

2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Next to a strong password, enabling two-factor verification Lock Down These Services Now With Two-Factor Authentication Two-factor authentication is the smart way to protect your online accounts. Let's take a look at few of the services you can lock-down with better security. Read More is one of the best ways to protect your account. When activated, in addition to your password, you’ll need to enter a code sent to your phone The Pros and Cons of Two-Factor Authentication Types and Methods Two-factor authentication methods are not created equal. Some are demonstrably safer and more secure. Here's a look at the most common methods and which ones best meet your individual needs. Read More in order to sign in. This ensures that even if someone steals your password, they can’t get into your account without your phone.

To enable this, head back to the Account Info page on the Account Security tab. Slide the Two-step verification switch on, then Yahoo will ask for your mobile number. Enter it, then decide if you want to get a call or text message with your code. Once you receive the code, enter it and click Verify.

yahoo mail account security tips

After this, you have the opportunity to create app passwords. Some apps, like Mail on iOS and Outlook, don’t support two-factor authentication. Thus, you can create special app passwords that will allow you to sign in on those apps. If you skip this, you can create these passwords later by clicking the Generate app password on the Account Security tab.

yahoo mail account security tips

3. Update Your Recovery Information

You can add contact information to your Yahoo account in case you get locked out. This allows you to use another email address or your phone number to get back into your account if you forget your password. Thus, it’s vital to ensure this info is updated before it’s too late.

To do so, visit the Account Info > Account security tab again. Under Phone numbers and Email addresses, add any contact details you regularly use. Select either category, choose Add recovery email/phone, and enter the appropriate info. For phones, you’ll receive a verification code via SMS or a call. If you add a new email address, you’ll get a message with a link to verify the address.

yahoo mail account security tips

While you’re here, it’s worth reviewing any old account recovery info. If you don’t use a particular email address or phone number anymore, click the trash can to remove it.

Additionally, Yahoo retired security questions Why You're Answering Password Security Questions Wrong How do you answer online account security questions? Honest answers? Unfortunately, your honesty could create a chink in your online armor. Let's take a look at how to safely answer security questions. Read More as a verification method (thankfully). If you’re a longtime Yahoo user, you might still see security questions in your settings. Click Disable security questions and follow the steps to kill them off.

4. Review Account History Regularly

Yahoo provides a handy log of your account activity. You can look over this to help determine if someone has broken into your account.

Click Account Info again, then switch to the Recent activity tab. You’ll see a list of active sessions that shows the browser and operating system for each. Click one to see a list of logins on that device for the past 30 days, including exact times, IP addresses, and locations How to Trace an IP Address to a PC & How to Find Your Own Want to see the IP address of your computer? Perhaps you want to discover where another computer is situated? Various free tools are available that tell you more about a computer an its IP address. Read More .

yahoo mail account security tips

Below this, you’ll see the most recent access changes, like setting a new password. If you see anything on this page you don’t recognize, you should change your password right away. Doing so will automatically sign you out of your account everywhere.

5. Beware Phishing Emails

Email phishing never goes away, so it’s vital to stay on the lookout for it. To stay safe from fake messages that want to steal your account information, you should never click links in emails.

Review our tips on how to spot phishing emails How to Spot a Phishing Email Catching a phishing email is tough! Scammers pose as PayPal or Amazon, trying to steal your password and credit card information, are their deception is almost perfect. We show you how to spot the fraud. Read More so you know what to look for. If you receive something from your bank or other sensitive entity claiming they have a message for you, go directly to their website.

In Yahoo mail, you’ll see a purple Y logo to the left of the contact info on an official Yahoo message. Don’t trust this blindly, though — scammers could find some way to fake this.

yahoo mail account security tips

Following phishing emails will provide your account details to nefarious folk, rendering your strong password pointless.

6. Check Your Forwarding Settings

Email forwarding is a handy tool if you juggle multiple accounts. But it can also be something a hacker uses to spy on you. With just a few minutes in your account, someone could set up email forwarding Yahoo Has Mail Forwarding Again: How to Turn It Back On Mail forwarding is a nifty feature for many reasons -- one that wasn't available on Yahoo Mail for quite a while. But it's back! And here's how you can turn it on. Read More so they get a copy of everything you receive.

It’s worth double-checking to make sure nobody did this behind your back. Open Yahoo Mail, then click the Gear icon followed by Settings. Choose the Accounts tab on the left, and click the Yahoo entry with your email address.

yahoo mail account security tips

Scroll down to the bottom, and you’ll see the Access your Yahoo Mail elsewhere field. Make sure there’s no information here. If there is, then Yahoo is sending all your email to the address specified. Make a note of it, then turn forwarding off and change your password.

7-10. Other Miscellaneous Tips

On a lesser scale, you can keep a few important tricks in mind for protecting your Yahoo account:

Consider Leaving Yahoo

The above tips will all help protect your Yahoo account. But it’s worth noting that you might want to leave Yahoo altogether. As mentioned earlier, Yahoo discovered that it had suffered a massive security breach two years after the fact. Around the same time, it became known that Yahoo was scanning user emails to hand over the data to the NSA.

These two massive blows to its users made many think that Yahoo didn’t deserve your time anymore. We’ve covered moving to ProtonMail Affected by the Yahoo! Breach? Why Not Try ProtonMail? ProtonMail is a free, open source email service that focuses on security and privacy by allowing users to easily send and receive encrypted emails. But can ProtonMail be a secure replacement for Yahoo! Mail? Read More , a security-focused alternative, or simply switching to Gmail It's Time to Leave Yahoo: How to Quit and Move to Gmail Right Now Yahoo has announced another security breach. After many breaches and giving your info to the government, it's time to leave Yahoo for good. Read More . What you do is your business, but consider that this company doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to keeping your information safe and private.

Yahoo, You’re Secure!

Now you know the best ways to keep prying eyes out of your Yahoo account. These tips will protect your account, whether you use it for email or fantasy football. A bit of vigilance goes a long way!

For more, check out extra email security tips you can share with others 8 Email Security Tips You Can Share With Friends & Colleagues Read More .

Why do you still use Yahoo? Have you taken these actions to secure your account? Tell us down in the comments, and be sure your friends who also use Yahoo see it too!

Explore more about: Email Tips, Online Security, Two-Factor Authentication, Yahoo.

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