Yahoo blew it again. First, it disclosed that in late 2014 500 million Yahoo accounts had been hacked open. That was the biggest hack ever. Except, it wasn’t. It turns out that in August 2013 hackers had cracked 1 billion (that’s billion with a "b") Yahoo accounts.

In other words, if you had a Yahoo account in 2013, hackers stole names, email addresses, telephone numbers, hashed passwords (using the mindlessly simple-to-crack MD5 algorithm), dates of birth, and in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.


Yahoo has shown itself completely unable to protect its customers’ data. The company claims that your credit card and bank account data wasn’t stolen. But why should we believe it? It took the company years to realize that crooks had stolen every last user’s data.

So, what can you do?

How to delete your Yahoo account.

Let’s start by downloading your Yahoo mail to your PC. Set up a local mail client to use Post Office Protocol (POP). Yahoo Mail uses the following POP settings:

Incoming Mail (POP) Server

Outgoing Mail (SMTP) Server

  • Port – 465 or 587
  • Requires SSL – Yes
  • Requires TLS – Yes (if available)
  • Requires authentication – Yes

Your login info

  • Email address – Your full email address (name.)
  • Password – Your account’s password.
  • Requires authentication – Yes

E-mail programs that support POP include Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, OS X Mail, and Thunderbird.

You can also export your Yahoo email to Gmail without too much trouble. To do this go to Gmail. Once there, click the gear-icon in the upper-right corner, and then click Settings. Next, click Accounts and Import and follow up by clicking on Import mail and contacts. From there, enter your Yahoo email address and import your Yahoo data to Gmail. This will import both your contacts, your old mail, and new mail for 30 days.

If you use another email service you’re out of luck. Only Google offers a simple way to import Yahoo mail.

You’ll also want to grab your Yahoo contacts. To export them, take the following steps:

  1. In Yahoo Mail, click the Contacts icon.
  2. Click Actions and select Export.
  3. Select a format to export. Your choices are Microsoft Outlook, Netscape/Thunderbird, Yahoo CSV, or two vCard variants
  4. Click Export now.

If you use Yahoo Calendar, you can export its data to an iCal (ICS) file with the following steps.

  1. Go to Yahoo Mail and click the Calendar tab.
  2. If you don’t see your calendar, click My Calendars in the left-panel menu to show them.
  3. Click the more options arrow next to the calendar you want to export.
  4. Click Export.
  5. Save the ICS file to your computer.

If you have photos in Flikr, it’s time to export them as well. To do that, go to the Camera Roll view and select each group of photos you want to download. After that, click the Download button at the page’s bottom. Then click Download zip in the pop-up window.

All done? Ready to delete? Now:

  1. Go to Yahoo’s Terminating your Yahoo account page. If you use a phone number to login, use the alternative account termination page.
  2. Read the information about deleting your account to be sure you want to proceed. This is a one-way trip. If you delete your account, it’s gone for good.
  3. Enter your password.
  4. Enter the recaptcha code.
  5. Click the button labeled Terminate this Account.

Your account is not going to disappear immediately. Yahoo takes approximately 90 days to process your departure. This is to keep enemies or hackers from deleting your account out from underneath you.

Since your account is going to stick around for almost three months, you’ll want to go ahead and protect your account as well.

Protecting your Yahoo account

First, if you get an email saying your Yahoo account may have been hacked and to click this link to re-secure your account, it’s bogus. Yahoo’s official, "you’re screwed" emails have the subject line: "Important Security Information for Yahoo Users" and will look like these examples from Yahoo. Anything else is just a phishing scam.

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