Amid breach, some Yahoo users finding it hard to exit
As Yahoo’s embattled email service suffers through a slew of bad news, including a hack that compromised more than 500 million accounts, some users are finding it hard to leave. Automatic email forwarding was disabled at the beginning of the month, several users told AP. While those who’ve set up forwarding in the past are unaffected, some who want to leave over recent hacking and surveillance revelations are struggling to switch to rival services. “This is all extremely suspicious timing,” said Jason Danner, who runs an information technology business in Auckland, New Zealand, and is trying to quit Yahoo after 18 years with the email provider.
Yahoo Inc initially declined to comment on the recent change beyond pointing to a three-line notice on Yahoo’s help site which says that that the company temporarily disabled the feature “while we work to improve it”. After the AP published this story, the company issued a statement saying Yahoo was working on getting automatic forwarding “back up and running as soon as possible”. In the meantime, the company said it continued to support other options such as multiple account management , which allows users to juggle several email services at once. Like forwarding postal mail, email forwarding makes sure users don’t miss important messages as they swap one address for another. The feature has been “a basic concept for 15 years for just about every email provider out there,” said Brian McIntosh, who owns a small technology business and first alerted AP to the issue. “All of a sudden it’s under development,” McIntosh said in a telephone interview. “And only at Yahoo.”Yahoo’s users have been hit by a one-two punch of disclosures. First, the company revealed in September that hackers stole the personal information of roughly a half billion people, a record-breaking theft that appeared to have gone undiscovered for some two years. More recent revelations concern reports that Yahoo opened its users’ emails to government surveillance. Although it’s unclear whether either issue will lead to a real exodus from Yahoo, several people told AP they were leaving or had already left the service because of the negative headlines. — AP