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Chitu Okoli chitu.okoli.org

Posted on Jul 16, 2013 in Computers and the Internet

Yahoo e-mail seems to be easily hacked

Yahoo e-mail accounts seem to be hacked more easily than any other e-mail service. For those who have Yahoo e-mail accounts, I recommend you switch to Gmail.

Almost every month, I receive an e-mail from some friend or the other that says something like:


You should check this out: http://internetbadguys.com/lajsalkdjf/aljfdlafj.html

Friend’s name


I recognize right away that 99% of such e-mails are hacker e-mails (technical name: phishing) sent from hacked e-mail accounts, and I never click on them. If you click on something like that, it often leads to a fake website that looks just like the real Yahoo/Hotmail/Gmail site and asks you to login. They already have your e-mail address (which is why you received the e-mail), and all they need is your password. You login to the fake site, and bingo, they’ve got your password and full access to your e-mail account. Then they use your e-mail account to send the hacker e-mail. (On a side note, please never send me an e-mail that looks like that; I never click on them.)

A friend of mine whose account got hacked was concerned that perhaps the hackers might have read his e-mail. Yes, such hackers would technically probably able to read hacked e-mails. However, people who hack e-mail accounts usually use computer programs to do it for them, so it is unlikely that any human being actually reads victims’ e-mails. They are usually most interested in getting access to people’s account in order to send e-mails to other people and then get access to their accounts, too.

My experience is purely anecdotal, but roughly once a month, I receive an e-mail like that from a friend’s account that uses Yahoo for e-mail. Two or three times a year, I receive it from a Hotmail account. Maybe once in two or three years (or less often, maybe), I receive such hacked e-mail from a Gmail account. Thus, I conclude that Yahoo e-mail is easiest to hack, Hotmail is not bad, and Gmail is the most secure of the three big e-mail account providers (that’s whom hackers mostly go after). I even have a friend who is very good in IT who had a very strong password on his Yahoo account, yet it still got hacked. My conclusion is that Yahoo is just very bad with protecting their users from hackers.

Thus, if you’re going to use a free e-mail account, I recommend that you use Gmail. If you currently use Hotmail, it’s probably OK to stay there (and just don’t click on any e-mail like the example I gave above). If you currently use Yahoo, I recommend that you switch to Gmail (and if possible, use their two-step verification for extra security; it can be a pain to use, though).

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