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9/5/2013
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Yahoo's Recycled Email Addresses: 3 Things To Know

Locked out of an old Yahoo account? Here's what you need to know if Yahoo has recycled your email address.

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Earlier this summer, Yahoo announced that it would deactivate dormant accounts, allowing users to request their "dream" Yahoo user ID that had once been spoken for. Before deactivating these accounts in mid-July, Yahoo alerted users who were at risk of relinquishing their usernames, the company said.

But some Yahoo users are just discovering that their accounts have been recycled. Dozens of threads on Yahoo Answers feature questions from panicked users wondering about their options and the security of emails still landing at that email address.

Here's what you need to know about recycled accounts and how you can get on Yahoo's list for the username you want.

1. You Have 12 Months To Log In.

If you hadn't used your Yahoo ID to log in to any of Yahoo's sites in the past year, the company gave you until July 15 to do so. After that date, Yahoo reset inactive accounts and made the usernames available to the public beginning in August, the company said.

[ Be the master of your inbox. Read 10 Tools To Beat Email Overload. ]

This is a practice Yahoo plans to continue: According to its help page, Yahoo will delete accounts due to inactivity unless you sign in once every 12 months.

2. You Can Apply For A New Yahoo ID.

If there's a user name you've longed for that wasn't previously available -- or if you want to try to reclaim an ID that was recycled -- Yahoo lets you submit a request to its Watch List.

For $1.99 you can enter up to five Yahoo usernames you want. Yahoo will notify you if they become available within the next three years, it says. If one of your desired user names does become available, you will have 48 hours to claim it. To submit your requests to Yahoo's Watch List, you need to enter in your credit card information for billing.

3. Yahoo Protects Expired Accounts.

If Yahoo deactivated your account and you're worried that the new owner will receive your mail, Yahoo said it has put certain security measures in place to ensure that your emails remain private.

According to a post on its developer page, Yahoo will let e-commerce sites or social networks, for example, "ask" for a new type of validation when sending an email to a specific Yahoo user. The field, which can be requested via an email's header, is called "Require-Recipient-Valid-Since."

For example, if you submit a Facebook request to reset your password, Facebook would add the Require-Recipient-Valid-Since header to the reset email, and the new header would signal to Yahoo to check the age of the account before delivering the mail. If the values don't match, the email will bounce. Facebook, PayPal and LinkedIn have already enabled this option.

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KMBurnham
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KMBurnham,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/24/2013 | 2:38:31 PM
re: Yahoo's Recycled Email Addresses: 3 Things To Know
Follow-up story is here: http://www.informationweek.com...

Yahoo Recycled Emails: Users Find Security Surprises
Some Yahoo users who took advantage of recycled IDs
report they're getting emails intended for the old account holders --
including personal data.
KMBurnham
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KMBurnham,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/9/2013 | 7:40:12 PM
re: Yahoo's Recycled Email Addresses: 3 Things To Know
I'm talking with Tom this week to learn more about his experience. Stay tuned!
tjenkins402
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tjenkins402,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/9/2013 | 12:51:19 PM
re: Yahoo's Recycled Email Addresses: 3 Things To Know
Two quick thoughts here as the recipient of a reclaimed Yahoo ID and email account. 1) The level of spam coming to the account is HUGE. 2) Yahoo has done a terrible job of protecting the ID of the former account holder. They may have put some measures in place but it is clear that many companies are not using them. Based on emails sent with the intention of going to the previous account holder, I know the account holder's name, their spouses name, their address, their children's name, their mobile carrier's account number, their phone number, their credit card number (!!!), the last 4 digits of their SSN (!!!!) and where they like to shop. I've also been invited to a few parties via evite (and similar services). If I was an evil guy, I could do a lot of harm. I'm sure that I could get access to a bank account in less than 30 minutes worth of work. The key take away for me is: never lose access to an email account because you don't know who may end up getting future access.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
9/6/2013 | 10:42:33 PM
re: Yahoo's Recycled Email Addresses: 3 Things To Know
I don't care enough about a "dream" Yahoo account to pay even the measly $1.99, but Yahoo seems to be going about this in a pretty reasonable way. Having made probably 100 throwaway email accounts over the years, I've always wondered what big email providers think of all the ghost accounts they're supporting.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
9/6/2013 | 5:09:28 PM
re: Yahoo's Recycled Email Addresses: 3 Things To Know
$1.99 to store 5 email addresses for three years...now there's a business model.
Cara Latham
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Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/6/2013 | 4:53:40 PM
re: Yahoo's Recycled Email Addresses: 3 Things To Know
I think this is a good way to weed out those who register for free email accounts just to sign up for a service, etc., and who never intend to use the email account.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
9/6/2013 | 1:58:36 PM
re: Yahoo's Recycled Email Addresses: 3 Things To Know
It makes perfect sense to require a log-in yearly. So far, reportedly, Google does not have a similar policy, but how long before it follows suit? $1.99 is $1.99 after all!
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