If you bought a car, and it broke down and exploded, would you buy the same make and model, again?
Well, OK, so maybe you would. Maybe you would think its problems were just a fluke, and surely couldn’t happen, again.
But if your second same-make-and-model car broke down and exploded, would you buy a third same-make-and-model car, or would you start to think there was something fundamentally wrong with that particular car, and move on to something different?
I would, but maybe you wouldn’t. Maybe you would continue to stay faithful to it, because, after all, it’s the car you learned how to drive on. In fact, it’s the only type of car you’ve ever driven, and you’re worried you won’t be able to figure out how to drive a different car, so you’d better just stick with what you know. You’ll keep buying the same old lemon car, no matter how bad it is.
That’s the analogy I’m making to Yahoo. Yahoo is like a lemon car that keeps breaking down, over and over, and yet, people keep buying and using their junk, over and over. Yahoo has been sending up red flags, and I have been begging people to ditch Yahoo, as an email provider and as a go-to website, for years.
In my August 12, 2012 column titled, “Man sues Yahoo for lousy password security,” I described how, in July of that year, Internet crooks circumvented Yahoo’s third-rate website security in a heist that was described as “incredibly easy.” The thieves stole usernames and passwords for over 450,000 Yahoo accounts, putting almost a half million people in serious jeopardy. That was enough of a red flag, for me.
Next was my August 9, 2015 column titled, “Crooks rob consumers using Yahoo website, again and again.” Yahoo was breaking down and exploding, again. Because of lax website security, online thieves were able to use the Yahoo website as a cover for their criminal endeavors. Using a tactic called “malvertising” (MALicious adVERTISING), crooks were able to place dangerous ads on the Yahoo website, ads designed to get visitors in trouble by infecting them with viruses, trojans, and the like. Yahoo wasn’t bothering to see if their own ads were safe, leaving their customers holding the bag.
This wasn’t Yahoo’s first time around the malvertising block. Thousands of Yahoo users were also victimized by malvertising in August of 2014; thousands more were attacked in January of the same year. In 2013, phony Yahoo ads were guilty of leading searchers to viruses masquerading as Google’s Chrome browser. In 2010, research by antivirus company Avast tagged Yahoo as the number one deliverer of dangerous ads. More red flags; more reasons to stop using Yahoo.
My October 2, 2016 column titled, “Time to change your passwords: Yahoo hacked, again,” I described how Yahoo had, in late September, been hacked, once again. Yahoo admitted over 500 million Yahoo accounts had been stolen, complete with names, addresses, passwords, the works. Yahoo had been guilty of many horrible security violations over the years, making them, one of the most dangerous websites on the Internet.
Among the creepiest things about that massive red flag was that it went unreported for two years. That’s right: 500 million Yahoo users had their account information stolen 2014, but they and the rest of the world didn’t find out until 2016.
Then, less than a year later, in October of 2017, Yahoo stuns the Internet world by admitting that, no, it wasn’t just 500 million accounts that were hacked in 2013 and 2014, with Yahoo not owning up to it until 2016; it was all of them. All of the accounts. Because of Yahoo’s insanely bad website and email security, all three billion Yahoo accounts were stolen by Internet criminals, and are still being used to this day by those criminals to steal massive amounts of money from innocent Yahoo users.
Just last week, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, ruled a class action lawsuit against Yahoo seeking damages for the three billion hacked email accounts can continue.
Are you reading the writing on the wall? The time has come. Don’t use Yahoo email, anymore; it’s too hazardous. Yahoo has become too much of a liability. Get a different email account somewhere else: Gmail, Outlook and Proton are all better choices. It’s time to ditch Yahoo for good.