Technology

How to delete the Yahoo account that security experts say you should dump

A Yahoo sign is seen at the company's headquarters Tuesday, July 19, 2016, in Sunnyvale, Calif.
A Yahoo sign is seen at the company's headquarters Tuesday, July 19, 2016, in Sunnyvale, Calif. AP

After data breaches and, more recently, revelations that Yahoo may have been helping a U.S. intelligence agency snoop on users’ incoming messages, some security experts have been advising people to ditch their Yahoo accounts for good. Here’s how to do it.

Yahoo’s account termination page only requires your account password, a captcha and a confirmation click on a button labeled “Terminate this Account.” So, actually deleting an account is pretty easy. But you’d be wise to read the lengthy note detailing all the ramifications of closing a Yahoo account: All data will be lost, including contacts, previous emails, any paid services users may have signed up for and more.

If losing everything, as well as some accounts connected to your Yahoo email, doesn’t scare you — go for it. Click and be free.

What about my other accounts?

Humans are creatures of habit, and in the case of passwords, that means humans tend to use the same password for multiple accounts. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to begin the obnoxious yet important process of changing all your other accounts’ passwords that either used a similar login or the exact same login.

For instance, if “Starfish123” was your Yahoo account’s password and that same password was used to log in to Facebook, you’ll need to change your Facebook password to something new. But let’s say you used a variation of the starfish password to log in to Twitter, something like “Starfish99.” You’ll need to update that password, too.

It’s a good idea to change passwords somewhat regularly and not use the same password for multiple accounts. Remembering all those passwords can be difficult, but password managers make living with all those different logins easier.

Make your new email more secure

Whether you’ve already been using another email account or you’re planning to set up a whole new account, there are tools and security settings available to help protect your data.

Password managers are one good tool, but many email services offer two-factor authentication or two-step verification. Enabling those extra security steps will make it far more difficult for a hacker to breach your accounts.

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