Switching From Yahoo to Gmail

Q. People keep telling me I need to get a Gmail address. I’ve had my Yahoo email address for over 20 years and I don’t want really want to change it if I don’t have to. Is it really necessary to switch to Gmail?

A. While you don’t HAVE to, there are compelling reasons why you should consider at least adding an additional email address. Yahoo’s revenue has shrunk considerably over the years and that has led to big staff reductions – leaving fewer people to actually work on their email product. This has to lead complaints of a shoddy site and email performance by many customers. When you add the data breaches of 2014, the second of which included sensitive data being stolen for at least one BILLION accounts, a lot of users report a loss in confidence for the company.

Being on the repair end of consumer technology, I personally have seen several complete irrecoverable lockouts from Yahoo email in recent months. What this means is in extreme instances, you cannot regain access to the email account because there is no way for Yahoo to authenticate you as the rightful owner when it’s been locked by Yahoo. Specifically, your account has been locked because it’s been hacked or you’ve forgotten your password and are unable to answer the security questions and have no recovery mobile phone number or verified email address on file. In some cases, there have been valid recovery mobile numbers or verified recovery emails on file, but when the account was hacked, hackers changed those values to something unknown to the actual owner of the account. In other cases, the original account holder never set those up or set them to an old email address or phone number they no longer have access to.

So, long story short, at the very least if you are going to continue to use your Yahoo email address, or any email address, be sure that your recovery methods recorded on the account are both current and verified. While this may help you in the case of a lockout, it won’t help protect you from shoddy service or a poorly designed product. However, the most important information you can glean from this is a question you didn’t ask (but I’ll answer anyway): NEVER use a password that you used with Yahoo prior to the breach for that account or any other account again. It’s is now likely on the ever-growing list of known good passwords that are used by “bots” to hack accounts. If you do choose to replace your Yahoo email account or switch to just a Gmail account, the process is fairly easy and we frequently help people make the switch and migrate their email and contacts to the new account, as well as help notify your existing contacts of the new email address.