July 16, 2013
Yahoo! Unveils ‘Wish List’ To Request Recycled Email IDs
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Yahoo! said it would begin notifying people in mid-August if they were the first to claim the names, and those awarded rights to dormant email addresses will have two days to activate the new accounts.
The move follows Yahoo's decision last month to deactivate accounts that hadn't been touched for at least one year, and aims to entice more people to sign up for Yahoo's email, search, news and other services.
However, the program has raised concerns among some online security experts, who say previous owners of little-used Yahoo! email addresses could have their online identity hijacked if they had the account listed as a backup email on another service and have since forgotten. This could possibly allow hackers to use the IDs to obtain sensitive information about the former account holders.
There's also a risk because many people use their email accounts as logins at different password-protected websites like Amazon and Facebook, raising concerns the recycled email IDs could be used to request the passwords of former account holders.
Other experts worry someone who claimed another person's old email address would be burdened with newsletters and similar unwanted emails.
But Yahoo! says it has enacted a number of new security measures to minimize the chance of any compromise of sensitive user information. For instance, the company has developed a system that will help other websites identify email addresses that have been transferred to new account holders, and has already begun bouncing back emails from the inactive accounts.