I’m closing my Yahoo! email account this weekend. Why?
I created my account in 2001 as part of a computer class assignment. I didn’t have internet at home, so I followed the basic instructions our teacher gave. In other words, I didn’t choose Yahoo! so much as I followed those directions to the letter.
Since then, I’ve used the account for various online logins. Some of my social media, bills, and store accounts are linked to my Yahoo! email address. It’s been convenient to use one account; after all, that means less passwords to memorize, as well as less variety in my login credentials to remember (many websites use your email address as the login username, very helpful).
I had a decent, private password and security questions I updated once every few years. Most updates were done after a move, since I’d change my location (city, state) each time. My questions are always the “create a question” option, because I feel more secure making up complicated questions or coded phrases that make sense only to me. My passwords are number-word combos that have personal significance without including personal data (birthdates, names of family, etc.).
My account never got hacked… until the end of 2013.
I found out my account was hacked thanks to my work email. I’d added myself as a contact after my mom’s account from another service was hacked and used for spam; the idea was to track any possibility of my account sending out spam by receiving it directly from myself. It turned out to be a good idea, as I received a weird email with a link from myself and immediately updated all of my password information.
Unfortunately, Yahoo! seems to have a hacking problem.
It’s only been a few months since I updated my information, but I’ve already been hacked again. Seriously, new passwords AND new security questions AND 2-step login verification should be enough to keep out a standard hacker on my end; the rest is back-end issues with the servers themselves being hacked. I can’t fix that!
In addition, my email account has amassed an army of spam in the decade(+) that it’s existed. That can’t be helped. I’ve blocked and filtered 99.9% of it into my spam folder, but that folder contains 100+ emails at the end of any given day; the time it takes to review them for accidentally mislabeled emails is ridiculous.
It’s time to go our separate ways, Yahoo!.
I’m going to go through all of my old and new emails, print/copy anything important, and transfer all user accounts to my other email address. Spring break will be a time for digital spring cleaning, and it will end with the deletion of my account.
Actually, I’m not even sure if deletion is possible. If not, it’ll be made void: I’ll remove all information, the name will be John Doe, all emails and contacts will be gone, and it’ll stand unused for the 12 months needed until Yahoo! deactivates it to make the handle available for others.
After all is said and done, I won’t miss it.
This whole thing makes me wonder: How long do we hold onto bad digital services out of habit? When do we decide the inconvenience of switching and canceling accounts is outweighed by the inconvenience of service issues, hacking, or outdated systems? When is enough enough?