Security Tips for Yahoo Mail

With news of cyber attacks making headlines on a weekly basis these days, taking steps to make sure your online accounts are as secure as possible is more important than ever. There are several ways you can make your Yahoo account and email more secure, and considering how much of our lives and personal information can be found through our email accounts, it’s not a matter that should be taken lightly.

In this article, we’ll cover some ways you can keep your Yahoo account secure from hackers and other attacks, with step by step instructions on changing your password, setting up two-step verification, and signing in on shared or public computers.

General security tips for Yahoo Mail

Many times, hackers and scammers will try to trick you into giving your personal information to them via email. Here are some tips you can follow to avoid being a victim of these attacks:

  • If you receive an email from someone you don’t recognize, delete it and don’t click on any links or images that may be inside it.
  • If you receive an email from someone you do know but that looks suspicious, contact them some other way to see if they actually sent you the email or if their account was hacked. If they don’t remember sending any such email, delete it and don’t click on any links or images. They should change their password right away.
  • If you get an email that looks like it’s from a bank, government agency or other official entity, don’t give any personal information. If they request your login information, don’t click on any links inside the email – instead, type the web address of the bank, agency etc. directly into your web browser. If there are problems with your account, these agencies will usually use snail mail to deal with them, not email. You may want to contact the bank, agency, etc. about a potential “phishing” scam.
  • Don’t believe any email offering to pay you money after they receive an upfront payment from you.
  • Use common sense – if an email smells fishy to you, better safe than sorry.

How to change your Yahoo password

Ideally, passwords should be changed on a regular basis to keep your account secure. Most people are lax about their passwords and don’t follow this recommendation. However, if any suspicious activity shows up in your Yahoo account, such as your contacts reporting emails you didn’t send, or sign-in from strange locations, you need to change your password immediately. Here’s how:

Start by logging into your Yahoo account on a trusted computer (preferably a computer only you have access to) and going to your homepage. Click on your name in the upper right-hand corner to open a dropdown menu, and click on “Account Info”.

yahoo security tips home

You will be taken to the Personal info tab, which includes your name, Yahoo ID, date of birth, and other personal information. To change your password, click on the next tab, labeled “Account security”.

yahoo account security

For security purposes, you will be prompted to re-enter your Yahoo password. When you’re finished, click “Next”.

yahoo account secuty password

Next, click on “Change password”. Create a new, strong password and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the password change.

yahoo security change password

How to set up two-step verification for Yahoo

Two-step verification is a more secure way to login to your Yahoo account. In addition to entering your password, you will also have to enter a single-use code sent to your cell phone, meaning that even if a hacker got a hold of your Yahoo password, they wouldn’t be able to access your account unless they also had your cell phone in front of them.

To set up two-step verification for your Yahoo account, go to the same “Account security” tab described in the first section, and click on the switch button that says “Two-step verification”.

yahoo security two step verification

On the next screen, enter your cell phone number where you want all future verification codes to be sent each time you login to your Yahoo account. You can either have the initial verification code sent via SMS text message or phone call.

yahoo two step verification phone number

Enter the verification code you received into the appropriate box and click “Verify”.

yahoo two step verification code

Tips for using your Yahoo account on shared computers

Being able to access your Yahoo Mail and other account features from any computer is very convenient, but it also exposes you to increased risk. Not all computers have proper antivirus, anti-spyware and anti-malware programs installed and could be infected with harmful software. Some unscrupulous individuals place hardware or software keyloggers on public computers, which record every single key you hit on the keyboard, including usernames and passwords!

If you habitually use public or shared computers (which is any computer that can be accessed by someone other than you, including at work), you should periodically check the sign-in activity on your Yahoo account to see if it has been accessed in any strange locations.

To check recent activity, go to the “Account info” section again from the homepage menu, and select the third tab labeled “Recent activity”. It will list the locations and devices which have most recently been used to login to your Yahoo account. If you don’t recognize any of them, use a secure computer to change your password right away.

yahoo security recent activity

Finally, whenever you login on a shared computer, make sure you uncheck the box that says “Stay signed in”. When this box is unchecked, you will be logged out automatically when you close the browser so that others can’t sneak into your account.

yahoo security tips sign in

What Is Yahoo and What Is It For?

Ymail

As a resident of the 21st century, you’ve most likely read about or heard people mention Yahoo (aka Yahoo!) at least once in your life. But even though this company has been a leader on the internet since its early days (1995 to be exact), you may not know exactly what Yahoo is or what it’s for. Frankly, even people who already use Yahoo may not be aware of all the options they have! So let’s get everyone up to speed and answer those two fundamental questions: What is Yahoo? And what is it for?

Yahoo offers a multitude of services

yahoo home page

There was a time when Yahoo! was nothing more than a web directory, which was designed to help internet users find relevant websites. It soon became one of the top search engines in the world and added a web portal. Well, one thing led to another and now Yahoo’s homepage is the fourth most visited website in the entire world. If you take a look at it, it’s clear why: aside from the same old tried and true Yahoo! search engine, you can find breaking news, sports news, local weather, trending topics, an email client and more than a dozen links to other useful and interesting content.

These days, millions of people set Yahoo as their internet homepage, so every time they open the web, the first thing they see is that homepage. Millions of people also use Yahoo’s free email service, and it is one of the most popular email platforms to this day.

So the answer to the first question is: Yahoo is a web portal bursting with content and information, a popular email service, a search engine, and much more.

What exactly is Yahoo used for, though? Let’s go through 6 of the most popular areas/services offered by Yahoo: Mail, News, Sports, Finance, Messenger, and Answers.

Yahoo email service

By far one of the most popular features of Yahoo is its free email service. When you sign up for a Yahoo account, you are automatically given an “@yahoo.com” email address with your own inbox. Of course, yours will only have a welcome message or two from Yahoo, but this is what your Yahoo mail looks like when it’s full:

yahoo mail inbox

You can use Yahoo mail to send emails to friends, family, coworkers and others. You can attach files to share, including pictures, and keep your mail nice and organized with folders. You also have access to a hand calendar tool that you can program to send reminders about important events. And, if you look closely at the left sidebar, you also get information about Yahoo! Messenger here in your inbox. We’ll talk about that in more detail later.

Yahoo! news portal

yahoo news

Yahoo news is the first thing many people see when they turn on their computers (or mobile devices) first thing in the morning. The homepage will show an assortment of stories that may be of local or regional interest to you based on where you live, and you’ll get even more headlines and breaking news stories when you go to the actual news page. Yahoo collects the best and most interesting news articles from many different journalists and publications, so you’re bound to find something that catches your attention here.

Yahoo sports news

yahoo sports

Sports fans can get all the vital information they need for football, basketball and more. You can find highlights from the big game, final scores for professional and college sports, info on drafts and recruitment, player info and more. Yahoo even has a fantasy league you can participate it.

Yahoo! finance

yahoo finance

There is no better place to go on the internet for unbiased, up to date information on what’s going on in the financial markets than Yahoo finance. You can see what’s going on with the stock market, major indexes like the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average, and read news on the economy and personal finance. They have an incredible wealth of information about every stock that’s being traded, and you can search by individual stock and get all the relevant information to make decisions about your investments. When you have a Yahoo! account, you also get access to “My Portfolio”

Yahoo messenger

yahoo messenger

If you are already a fan of instant messaging or want to give it a try, Yahoo has a very popular instant messaging service called Yahoo! Messenger. You can add contacts and chat with them in real time, share media files and even do voice and video chats. Here’s what your chat window might look like when you run Yahoo Messenger on your PC:

yahoo messenger chat

Yahoo answers

When you just can’t find the answer to your question no matter how hard you look, there’s Yahoo Answers. Ask the entirety of Yahoo users your question, and see if someone can answer it. You can rate the best answers and vote down answers that are unhelpful. Just remember, anyone with a Yahoo account can ask and answer, so it’s a good idea to take the answers with a grain of salt and maintain a sense of humor.

yahoo funny

Yahoo, in summary

As you can see, Yahoo is more than just a search engine and email platform. The Ymail homepage has enough information and different sections to keep you busy all day long, and you will always know what’s going on in the world if you take a look at Yahoo’s headline news. Combined with weather, entertainment, instant messaging and answers, Yahoo is basically everything you could need on a normal day on the internet.