Over the years how many email addresses have you registered for your business, or for you personally, that haven’t been used in a while? If you have old email addresses with Yahoo you might find yourself in for a surprised.

Yahoo recycling your old email addressThis summer, the company announced it would now ‘recycle’ old email addresses, reassigning them to new customers if they had been inactive, i.e. not logged into for a year. This would only be done with strict procedures in place to ensure privacy would not be at risk, it said, despite the concerns of many security experts.

However, reports emerged last month (September 2013) that the new owners were receiving personal and business emails intended for the previous owner, creating obvious privacy concerns and a worrying security risk.

For example, if you had ‘mybusiness@yahoo.co.uk’ as your email but changed and didn’t check your email for a year, Yahoo would make that address available to somebody else who might want to use it. The person with your old email address would then potentially be receiving your email and your private information.

Reported on the BBC news website, one IT professional who has been given a recycled email address has found himself receiving emails that have so far told him the previous owners name, address, telephone number, passwords and even when they were due an eye appointment and where.

Yahoo did release a statement saying it had taken extensive measures to overcome privacy and security issues with recycling of old email addresses, including multiple attempts to warn the customer they were about to lose their account and unsubscribing them from commercial mailing lists.

Yet it seems a lot of things are still getting through the safety net.

Swap old email addresses for new

There is another option. If you run a business, you can have a personalised email address set up that doesn’t use the mainstream services such as Yahoo or Hotmail which are in-fact pitched at domestic users.

With an address specific to your business, such as ‘john.doe@mybusiness.co.uk’, there is no change a big corporation like Yahoo can pass your email address on to somebody else. Your privacy and security are protected.

If you’re running a business with a Yahoo or Hotmail email address and want to look at changing to a personalised business email, get in touch via the website or call us on 01952 303404.