In June, Yahoo confirmed that they would start recycling accounts for those who haven’t logged in to their Yahoo account for more than a year – in effect, recycling dormant IDs. This means that IDs that were previously used to register and shop could be given to a new person. You will find your account disabled, and you will be unable to simply re-activate it. Microsoft/Hotmail has also been doing this, since 2009, but employing much shorter dormancy periods – sometimes only ten days.
This has ramifications for small businesses, and for individual consumers. Most worryingly, it will be possible for the new account user to do password resets on any online accounts the old account user has, unless there is some form of 2 factor authentication.
If you have old accounts lying dormant, consider closing them down yourself immediately. If you neglect to do this, bear in mind that it is simply another ‘back door’ for the fraudsters to use and possibly access very sensitive data like bank details.
Be aware that if you do try to log back in to an account that has been dormant for some time, you may be advised to call a contact centre and be subject to manual identity verification.
You may also now receive emails from retailers, asking if you wish to remain on their marketing list.
Forewarned is forearmed! Use this news as an opportunity to ‘spring clean’ and streamline your online activity so you are in control, and not the fraudsters.