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

How to Use Formatting Options in Yahoo Mail

Being able to format your emails has several benefits. It allows you to organize your text better, call attention to the most important things in your message, adapt for contacts who have difficulty reading certain fonts, insert useful links, and add a lot of personality.

Yahoo Mail has several formatting options that help you express your message beautifully. In this tutorial, we’ll go over how to use the most common of them: adding stationary, changing font style and size, adding bold and italics, changing font color, making lists, and inserting links. We’ll also talk about how to quickly remove all formatting and go to plain text.

How to edit format, font and other things in Yahoo Mail

The formatting options are automatically included in a menu at the bottom of every email you compose in Yahoo Mail. So to get started, all you have to do is go to your Yahoo inbox and click the “Compose” button, just as you would for any other email.

yahoo email formatting compose

Enter the recipient(s) for your email, and subject if you want. Now, if you look at the bottom of the message box, you’ll see that there is a menu with many different formatting options.

yahoo email formatting recipient

Here is a close-up view of the formatting menu. In this tutorial we won’t be discussing indentation or text alignment because they aren’t commonly used for most people in email, but with a little trial and error you should be able to figure them out with no problem if you ever need to use them.

yahoo email formatting options bar

Whether you want to write your message first and then add formatting or do the formatting as you go is completely up to you. For illustration, I’ll write out my whole email first and then add formatting afterwards. Here’s the message with no added formatting.

yahoo email plain text

One cute and unique feature in Yahoo Mail is the ability to add stationary, which turns your email into something really special with just a few clicks. To add stationary, just click on the first icon in the formatting menu after the attachment icon. This will open up a menu for you to choose the stationary that you want.

yahoo email stationary

Browse the different categories and scroll through until you find one you like. If you don’t like any of them, just click anywhere outside the stationary menu to get out of it. I chose this festive stationary with balloons for my BBQ invitation.

yahoo email with stationary

How to format font in Yahoo Mail

Next, we’ll change the font style and size. These can both be changed using the second formatting button “Tt”. Select/highlight the text you want to change, and click on the button to open the font options menu. Then select the style and size that you want.

yahoo email format font

I chose “Classic” style and changed my font size to “Large”.

If you want to bold any text, the process is basically the same as in your word processer. Just select/highlight your desired text, and click on the “B” button.

yahoo email bold text

For italics, same thing. Select the text you want to italicize, then click the “I” button.

yahoo email italics

Next up is font color. I would recommend to stick with normal black font for formal or business emails, but if you’re inviting people to a BBQ, why not add some fun color? To change the color of your text, highlight it and then click on the font color icon, which is right after the italics icon. Here you can choose the color of the font and the highlight color (you don’t have to use both).

yahoo email font color

I chose a dark pink that looked cheerful but also easy to read.

If you have a list of items in your email, it can be helpful to the reader if you set them off with bullet points or numbers. To do this, select the text of your list, and click on the lists icon. Then choose a bullet list or numbered list, whichever you feel is most appropriate.

yahoo email format lists

How to add in-line links in Yahoo emails

Adding a link to your emails might not be something you do very often, but it’s nice to know how to do it so you have the option. Have you noticed when you read news online and they mention other news stories in the text of the article, and link to it without actually writing the web address? That’s an in-line link, and it looks cleaner than copy+pasting a URL into your email.

To insert a link, copy the text of your email you want to become the link, then click on the link icon.

yahoo email insert link

This will open a window where you will enter the web address (URL) that you want your text to link to. When you’re done, click “OK”. That’s it!

yahoo edit link

You can also add smiley faces if you want

yahoo email smiley faces

Here’s what our whole email looks like with all of the formatting we added.

yahoo formatted email

If for some reason you want to get rid of all of the formatting at once, you can click on the “<<” button, which will convert your email to plain text.

yahoo remove all formatting

If you hit this by accident, just click “Cancel”. If you really do want to delete all your formatting, click “OK”.

yahoo switch to plain text

Now your email is plain text, and your formatting menu has disappeared. To get it back, click on the “>>” button, which switches back to rich text.

yahoo email formatting rich text

Your menu is back now, but as you can see, the formatting we had earlier was erased. Back to the drawing board!

yahoo mail formatting

How to Chat in Yahoo Messenger

Sometimes it’s more convenient to have a real-time conversation with someone instead of writing an email, waiting for a response, and then writing again. For these situations, you’ll want to take advantage of Yahoo Messenger, a chat app that comes built into your Yahoo Mail. It doesn’t require any additional sign up – you can access it directly from your inbox! In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to chat in Yahoo Messenger step by step.

Chatting in Yahoo Messenger

To get started chatting, login to your Yahoo account if you haven’t already done so and go to your Yahoo Mail inbox. In the upper left-hand corner is a menu bar with several icons. The second to last is a little smiley face icon; this smiley face is the “face” of Yahoo Messenger. To open the messenger, click on this icon.

yahoo messenger icon

This will open a little popup window where you will verify your name, which will be shown on your Yahoo Messenger profile to the people you chat with. After that, you’ll see a window which may have some of your Yahoo contacts listed as suggestions for who to chat with. You don’t have to choose from them. To start a new chat, just click on the little pencil icon in the corner.

yahoo messenger popup

This will open a new message window from the bottom of your screen. First, you’ll have to choose someone to send the message to. You can select from suggested contacts or enter someone’s email address manually in the “Add people by email or contact” box.

yahoo messenger new message

After you’ve added a contact to receive your chat message, you can type your message in the bottom portion where it says “Add a message”.

yahoo messenger message sent

If you ever need to add someone else to the conversation, forming a group chat, just click on the “add contact” icon, and you’ll be taken back to the add contacts screen to enter the email address of the new person you want to add to the chat.

yahoo messenger group chat add contact

You can also edit various aspects of the chat by clicking on the “information” icon.

yahoo chat info

And that’s all there is to sending instant messages and chatting on Yahoo Messenger! You can send messages this way whether your contacts are currently online or not. If they aren’t, they’ll get your messages the next time the sign in.

One last thing: Yahoo Messenger is a great way for sharing high resolution photos that might be too large to send via email. There is a little “photo” icon in the box where you type your message. Clicking on it will let you browse for the pictures you want to share.

Yahoo Applications for iPhone, iPad and Android

If you’re like most people these days, you’re always on the go and sometimes it can be hard to find a desktop or laptop computer to check your email. Fortunately, you can check your Yahoo Mail from just about anywhere using their mobile applications for iPhone, iPad and Android. Downloading them is free, quick and easy and they’re very intuitive and user-friendly. Let’s go through each device one at a time.

Yahoo Mail application for iPhone

If you want to check your Yahoo email on your iPhone, you can find the free Yahoo app in the App Store the way you would look for any application. It will look something like this:

yahoo app ios itunes

If you’re on your iPhone, you can just click “Install” to put the Yahoo mobile app on your device. If you’re using iTunes on a computer, you can download it to sync with your other devices later.

yahoo app ios screenshot

When you open the app for the first time, you’ll be prompted to enter your Yahoo ID (email address) and password, just like you would when you sign in online.

Yahoo mobile app for iPad

You can find Yahoo for iPad the same way you would for iPhone. Just use your iPad to go to the App Store and search for Yahoo. Your search result will look something like this:

yahoo app ios itunes

Just click “Install” the same way you would download any other app on your iPad. Wait for the application to finish downloading and installing, and then open it. Once you enter your Yahoo username and password, you’re good to go!

yahoo app ipad

Yahoo mail for Android

If you use an Android device, whether it’s a smartphone or a tablet, you’ll be downloading the Yahoo app from the Google Play Store. You can go online to and search for “Yahoo”, or go directly to the Play Store app on your device and do the same.  Your results will look similar to this:

yahoo app google play

As you can see, Yahoo has several different apps available for Android. If all you’re interested in is managing your email, you’ll want to click on the first option called “Yahoo Mail”. Feel free to download the other Yahoo apps later!

yahoo app for android

Here on the Yahoo Mail app detail page, you can see if the application is compatible with the device you’re using. If it is, you can simply click “Install” to download it to your device. When the installation is complete and you open the Yahoo Mail mobile app, you’ll have to sign in with your Yahoo email and password, and then you’re all set!

How to Mark and Delete Spam in Yahoo Mail

Nobody likes their email to get cluttered up with SPAM or junk mail. Yahoo has a built-in spam filter that’s pretty good, but if any junk emails slip past it and into your inbox, you can easily mark is as spam and get rid of it, while simultaneously teaching Yahoo Mail to improve its spam filter.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to mark messages as spam, report spam and suspicious emails to Yahoo, and delete spam permanently from your email.

How to mark messages as spam in Yahoo

To start, make sure you’re logged into your Yahoo account and in your inbox or whichever folder you have messages that you would like to mark as spam.

Remember that marking messages as spam teaches Yahoo that you don’t want to see those emails in your inbox at all – if you just want to delete a wanted message, use the “delete” button, not the “spam” button.

If you have used your Yahoo email address to register on various websites or sign up for newsletters, you may very well already have messages that were sent to the spam folder automatically. Sometimes messages you actually want get sent there by mistake, so if you are ever expecting an email and it never comes, check your Spam folder just in case. You can find it in the left side bar underneath the Archive folder.

yahoo mail spam folder

To mark an email as spam and send it to the Spam folder from your Inbox, check the box next to the unwanted message (or messages) and then click on the “Spam” button in the options bar at the top of your inbox.

yahoo mark message as spam

All this does is send the message to the Spam folder and improve Yahoo’s filter so you receive fewer messages like that in the future. If you want to report a sender for being abusive with spam, if you think the email is part of a phishing scam, or if you think your account might have been hacked, there are also options for this. You can find them by clicking the dropdown arrow next to the Spam button and selecting the option that’s appropriate for your situation.

yahoo report spam or phishing

You can also mark a message as spam or report it using the same options while reading the email. With the unwanted message open, you’ll have the same Spam button in the top menu as in your Inbox.

yahoo mark email as spam

After you click the Spam button, either from the message or from your Inbox, you’ll receive a little notification letting you know your action was successful.

yahoo mail conversation marked as spam

And the spam message will be removed from your Inbox and placed in the Spam folder.

yahoo message moved to spam

How to mark an email as safe (not spam)

As we mentioned above, sometimes messages that you actually want get sent to spam by mistake. Sometimes we accidentally click on the Spam button ourselves. Whatever the case, if you ever need to get something out of your Spam folder, doing so is easy. Go into the Spam folder in the left navigation bar, check the box next to the desired email or emails, and click “Not Spam” in the options bar. This will move the message back into your Inbox.

yahoo not spam

How to delete spam emails from Yahoo Mail

Spam is automatically set to be deleted once a month (although you can change this to every week or two weeks in your mail security settings), so there’s not really any need to delete your junk mail manually. However, if you want to for some reason, all you have to do is go into the Spam folder, select the message or messages you want to permanently delete by checking the box next to them, and clicking the “Delete” button.

yahoo mail delete spam

Now that you know how to label emails as spam in Yahoo Mail, you’re well on your way to having a nice, clean Inbox with only the mail you want to receive. Over time, Yahoo will learn what you consider junk and what you don’t, so you’ll have to go through this process less often. Enjoy your new, spam-free inbox!