Do you know how hard it is to delete your Yahoo account?! Well, it’s not exactly the fact that it’s hard, it’s just that they made it so that you’d much rather drop the idea before going through with it because you can’t find the damn button to click anywhere.
Why would you close your Yahoo account? Because they’ve proven to be a disgrace to online security. Like it wasn’t that bad that the company was holding the crown for the worst data breach in history with 1 billion accounts affected back in 2013, but it looks like things were way worse and involved all 3 billion Yahoo accounts! Yes, three billion. Do you know how many people use the Internet today in the whole world? About 3.2 billion. Of course, nothing says they were 3 billion people using those 3 billion accounts, since many people have multiples, but it’s still a massive intrusion. It’s probably safe to say, however, that every Internet user today has been involved in a data breach.
First, in November 2016, they revealed a 2014 data breach affected 500 million accounts, then, a month later, they said a different breach from 2013 affected 1 billion accounts. Since they were in talks of acquisition with Verizon, information only revealed those 1 billion accounts. Now that the deal moved through, it seems the number magically tripled.
If it weren’t for a history of bad security on Yahoo’s part we’d say this is just a coincidence, but now, it’s hard to say. Of course, it’s not unusual for information about data breaches to be updated every once in a while. The data breach at the Office of Personnel Management started off as something affecting some 4 million people, only to be updated later to 21.5 million records a few months later.
Verizon, Yahoo’s parent company nowadays, promises more will be done to secure accounts. Some things have already been done, namely the introduction of Yahoo Account Key, which basically ties your account to a mobile device, particularly one that has the Yahoo app installed, from which you will authorize the sign-in or not. However, if you’re just sick of it all, you might be thinking of deleting your account altogether.
Save your data
Before you do that, you should know that this isn’t just about shutting down your Yahoo email account, but also all other tied accounts – Flickr, fantasy sports and so on.
So what do you need to do before you begin this process? Well, start off by disabling that Yahoo Account Key we were talking about. Then, make sure you’ve saved all the info you want from these accounts – emails, personal files, photographs – everything. You should also make sure to change the email address for any third-party accounts you’ve tied to Yahoo. For instance, if your Facebook account uses a Yahoo email account, change that. Also, if your Gmail backup address is a Yahoo address, change that as well. That goes for any service you use with any type of frequency online, from gaming, to banking, to 9Gag.
In order to move all your emails and email data to a separate account, you’ll need to download a mail client, set up “Incoming Mail Pop Server” as server=pop.mail.yahoo.com, port=995, requires SSL= Yes, and “Outgoing Mail (SMTP)” to server=smtp.mail.yahoo.com, port=465 or 587, requires SSL=Yes, requires authentication= Yes. Type in your login credentials and download your emails locally.
Exporting your contact list can be done easily from Yahoo Mail – Contacts – Actions – Export. All you need is to pick a format. The other option is to use something like Gmail, tap the gear icon, go to Settings, go to “Accounts and Import” and tap “Import mail and contacts”. Fill in the details, and you’re done.
Deleting the account
Now, on to the tricky part – deleting your account. For this, you need to do a little sleuthing because that button is nowhere to be found. At Google, you just have to visit your account page, and you’ll immediately find the “delete your account or services” button. Just like that, without jumping through hoops. Yahoo is making things difficult, however, because it’s already losing users due to the data breaches. Just watch how fast the numbers drop now…
So, what you’ll need to do is sign in to the Yahoo account termination page. Just tap the link here since that’s far easier than digging through Help pages for it. You’ll need to sign in with the account you want to close, read through the warnings, click Continue, confirm your identity and then click “Yes, terminate this account.”
What you need to remember is that this isn’t over. If you sign into your account within the next few months, you’ll get reactivated. Generally, the account will be dead within 40 days. If you live in Australia or New Zealand, it takes even longer – 90 days, while if you live in Brazil or Taiwan, you’re going to have to wait even more, as it takes approximately 180 days for Yahoo to close your account completely. It’s borderline embarrassing how long this procedure takes, but there’s little to be done about it.