Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Yahoo email is safe enough... depending mostly on you, the user, and your personal safety habits.

Is Yahoo email safe to use? Is there a better email I should be using? I'd like to believe that my mail is safe. Thank you.

In this excerpt from Answercast #84, I look at the safety of Yahoo email - which actually begins with the user.

Yahoo email safe

Yahoo is as safe as any of them. I tend to recommend Gmail more often than not, simply because I believe it has a better anti-spam filter. It is extremely configurable and just generally has a pretty good reputation.

It's not a slam against Yahoo. Yahoo is good; is safe and so forth.

Responsible for your own safety

Now, what I really want you to understand though is that, for the most part, choosing the provider (between things like Yahoo and Gmail and Hotmail and any of the others) actually has less of an impact on overall email safety than what happens next!

By that I mean - safety is really in your hands more than it is in the providers.

  • How do you access your email?

  • Do you keep your passwords safe? Are they strong?

  • Are you using open WiFi hotspots?

  • Do you leave yourself logged in on machines that shouldn't be logged in?

Those kinds of things. Your behavior actually has a significantly greater impact on your overall email safety than which service you use.

So, I've got no problems with you using Yahoo or Gmail (or for that matter Hotmail) as long you've got things appropriately backed up and you're using your email safely.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Article C6203 - January 2, 2013 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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4 Comments
Ashkan
January 2, 2013 3:39 PM

As far as I know, except for log-in page, Yahoo! doesn't support SSL (at least for free users); but nearly all Google pages are HTTPS.

Gene
January 4, 2013 9:48 AM

I use both gmail and yahoo. My verizon account uses yahoo. Last summer, yahoo had its Yahoo ID files hacked. It turns out they were in clear text and the files were released on the net ("to force yahoo to clean up their act"). I found my ID and 6 others of people that belong to my navy reunion group. When an attempt to get in to my gmail account was made in Sept 2012, gmail notified me that a try was detected and I changed all my info and password.

James M
January 6, 2013 3:39 AM

My answer is 2-part.

1. I have been an exclusive free mail user for years now. My old provider-supplied E-mail was limited in storage, difficult to access and full of spam. I have none of those problems with either Yahoo or Gmail.

2. I have never had any security breaches on either Yahoo Mail of Gmail, and I have sent and received highly sensitive info over both. In some ways, I think if you are active on the Internet (use Facebook, for ex.) you just have to consider yourself to be living in a 'glass house' and conduct yourself accordingly.

Deja
January 6, 2013 10:56 PM

I have a few Yahoo accounts. Two of them are with Yahoo7! Mail. In the mail options you can choose to turn on SSL. I have it activated on one account and not the other. I just checked to see the difference. On the one with SSL you have to enter your password twice. Once you are in the mail window I checked and it is https, until you sign out.

Just out of curiosity I then checked one of my North American yahoo.com accounts. And as stated by Askan above only the login page is https. Once you enter your account it changes back to http.

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