Mail security tips

There are nearly 275 million Yahoo! Mail account holders worldwide.

Since one Yahoo! Mail address is in the news today, I thought this might be a good time to remind everyone about some online safety tips that will help protect your account. (In order to protect the privacy of our users, we can’t get into specific details of any of our users’ accounts -- we know you’d want us to do the same for you!).

  • Choose a strong password. It’s like a toothbrush – choose a good one and don’t share it. Your Yahoo! Mail password can be any length and can contain spaces, symbols, or numbers –- letting you come up with something that’s easy for you to remember but impossible for someone else to figure out.
  • Avoid using a complete word from a dictionary (English or otherwise) or a name.
  • Use at least 7 characters. The more the better. A long but simple password can be safer than a shorter complex one.
  • Use a combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and standard symbols (! @ # $ % ^ &, etc.).
  • Don’t use personal information that someone could easily figure out. Avoid a password based on information easily obtained about your (a birthday, your child’s name, your phone number, school name, etc.). Don’t use a password you already use for another account, like your bank account PIN. And don’t’ use your Yahoo! ID (or other username) in any form (reversed, capitalized, doubled, etc.).
  • Avoid the obvious. Attackers tend to first try repeating letters or number sequences (123456). Stay away from “test” or “password.” And when you change your password, which you should do relatively often, don’t just add a number to the end.
  • Create a sign-in seal. Yahoo! and many financial institutions let you personalize your sign-in page to help you make absolutely sure you’re not falling victim to a phishing scam. See a photo of your cat Rupert? You know it’s safe to proceed.

Cybercrime is an industry-wide issue and we’ve been working with the industry in combating it (with innovations like Domain Keys). Rest assured that we take security and privacy very seriously here.

You are the first line of defense. Head over to antispam.yahoo.com and security.yahoo.com for more tips to help you protect your account, your privacy, and your identity.

John Kremer
Vice President, Yahoo! Mail