It didn’t take long did it? You’ve read the reports from yesterday about email account information being posted online and all the stress that goes with worrying about your online safety. Already there are people out there trying to take advantage of the fact that you might be concerned whether or not you were one of the few people affected by the phishing attack. Phishing, for those of you unfamiliar with the term, is the act of trying to trick you into revealing your account and login information via a fake email or fake Website.
Here are some tips to help you identify phishing emails:
- Make sure the Web page address doesn’t have any misspellings or extra words (e.g. http://www.yah000.com, http://www.yahoo-members.com, or http://www.yahoo.BadGuyEnterprises.com) in it. When it doubt, go straight to http://www.yahoo.co.uk and log in from there.
- Be vigilant about anything that doesn’t look right on the page, such as typos, outdated content, or broken or missing pictures.
- Best idea: be sure to set up a customized “Sign-In seal” picture — instructions are at https://protect.login.yahoo.com/ – and never enter your password unless you see that picture on the page.
Just this morning we’re getting reports of a particularly well prepared email attempting to make you think that we are contacting you to verify your account information. In fact, this is nothing new. I’ve posted about this before. But this particular version of a phishing email has been very well produced and appears to look very official. So if you have received something like the screenshot below, this is not an email from Yahoo.
This one pictured above is a prime example of a phishing email, which uses a scare tactic to try to solicit you to send your account details and password. The one above is using the news stories from yesterday to lure you into clicking a link (the link in the email actually goes to some website that is not part of Yahoo) and giving your account details. Always be mindful of any Web page that requests your Yahoo! password (or any password for that matter).
So if you receive an email like the one above, don’t fall for it. Just delete it, or better yet, click the “Spam” button. It’s the quickest and easiest way to let us know that it’s spam.
Andrew – Yahoo! Mail Team
You may have heard or read about email accounts and their passwords being posted online. While I’ve read different versions of how the person(s) responsible was able to get the email account information, it was not a result of any insecurity at Yahoo! It looks to be a result of phishing attacks. Should you feel that one of your email accounts was affected by the recent publication, whether it is a Yahoo!, Hotmail or Gmail account, I would suggest changing your password as well as other account security information like secret questions and alternate email addresses.
We are aware that a limited number of Yahoo! IDs have been made public, it’s uncertain if any of those email/password combinations have resulted in any accounts being compromised. Online scams and phishing attacks are an ongoing and industry-wide issue and Yahoo! takes great effort to protect our users’ security.
We also have the following online resources that provide information and guidelines on email safety:
Our anti-spam site: http://uk.antispam.yahoo.com/
With a phishing prevention sub-section: http://uk.antispam.yahoo.com/phishing
Our help pages: http://help.yahoo.com/l/uk/yahoo/mail/yahoomail/abuse/ (phishing section at the bottom)
And of course, I’ve posted a bunch of articles about online safety to this blog: http://ymailuk.com/2009/05/05/keeping-your-account-safe-we-will-never-ask-for-your-password/
Here are a couple FAQs that provide additional information:
Have accounts been compromised because of this?
We are unable to confirm whether accounts have been compromised at this time. However, we strongly suggest that consumers take caution in securing their email and other online accounts by regularly changing their passwords, and updating account security information.
What do I do if I think my account has been compromised?
You should change your password immediately. Also, if you are unable to enter your account, you can take steps to recover it here: https://edit.yahoo.com/forgotroot
We take online security seriously at Yahoo! We strive to make you and your Yahoo! account as safe as possible. Of course if you have any questions or issues with your account, please contact our Customer Care team.
Andrew – Yahoo! Mail Team
Over the past nine months, we’ve made some significant updates to Yahoo! Mail, making it more productive, more social and helping people stay better connected to the those who matter most – but we only provided access to these new capabilities to a small group of you as we ramped up the features. Today, I’m excited to say we are bringing new and dynamic social functionality, third-party apps, enhanced photo sharing plus many more new features to all of your inboxes worldwide…yep, all 300 million of you!
Here’s what we are rolling out starting today:
A Streamlined & Faster Design:
First, we’ve swept away some of the ‘clutter’ to give you more space for what matters most to you.
You’ll experience that this new version is really the fastest Yahoo! Mail yet.
You’ve been asking for this for a while so we made the font size bigger. It’s now more easy to read and clearer.
A Better Way to Attach and Share Photos (now up to 25Mb per email):
We recognize that sharing photos is a big part of what you do in Mail. So we’re introducing a better way for you to attach photos (and other files of course). With our new attachment feature, you will be able to drag and drop photos into your emails, upload multiple attachments and even upload whole folders at once. You will also be able to view thumbnails and rotate your photo attachments before sending them to your friends and family.
In addition to this, we’ve increased the attachment limit from 10MB to 25MB. Now you can share more of your photos at once. Coupled with unlimited storage, this means you never have to worry about where to keep your photos. You can keep them in your Yahoo! Mail for as long as you like.
A Useful Applications Gallery:
You’ll notice that we’ve moved your Calendar and Notepad apps into a new area called Applications, beneath your folders. The Applications box also includes the third-party apps, like Edit Photos by Picnik, PayPal, My Photos by Xoopit and Big Sender by Zumo Drive, that we started testing back in December. These apps allow you to organize and share photos, be more creative and be more productive. Next month, we’ll be adding more apps including a new app from Evite to let you plan, create, and keep track of parties and events.
You may also notice, we’ve removed the ads from the left hand column of the new Mail. This gives you increased space to view and manage all of your folders and applications.
More Social Features:
Users of both Classic Yahoo! Mail and the New Mail interfaces can take advantage of the new social features on the updated ‘What’s New’ page. And with hundreds of millions of people starting to participate in this social email experience, it can really get interesting. You can now stay up-to-date on what friends and family are doing online, and view the most recent emails from your contacts. Soon you’ll even have the ability to receive birthday reminders.
We’ve been listening to your feedback and know that you love the updates on the ‘What’s new’ page. Of course you have complete control to choose what to share by managing your updates.
Now for the Timeline
As with all of our releases we want to make sure that people around the globe continue to have a reliable Mail experience, so we will gradually roll out features out over time. The first users will start seeing these new features today and we will continue to roll them out to all of our Mail users over the coming months.
I understand that some Yahoo! Mail users may be experiencing some slowness with Yahoo Mail recently. The issue is occurring due to a conflict between Yahoo! Mail and various Symantec (Norton) products including anti-virus/security software. Our engineering team has isolated the issue and is rolling out a fix as I write this blog entry.
In the meantime, if you are currently experiencing an issue with slowness, and have Symantec (Norton) products installed I can suggest disabling your Symantec software while you access Yahoo! Mail to resolve the issue. (Of course, I would not suggest permanently disabling your Symantec software, just do so while checking mail.) If you have to download any e-mail attachments, you can be safe in the knowledge that Yahoo! Mail scans attachments for any viruses before downloading.
The fix is rolling out now and will reach all of our users over the next couple of days.
Andrew – Yahoo Mail Team.
At Yahoo Mail, we have a lot in store for 2009. We’ve been working hard building new social features as well as adding functionality to make it easier to find the email and information that matters to you most. On top of offering you a really fast webmail with Unlimited Storage, we wanted your Inbox to understand who you really care about, so you can get the important things done quickly.
These new features will reach your Inbox soon (this summer), but before they do, I wanted to give you a sneak preview of what to expect.
A New Welcome Page
The smarter Inbox experience features a new look to the Yahoo! Mail Welcome Page. As part of the new design we will surface the messages of the people you care about most directly on the Welcome Page.
Updates from Your Close Contacts
You will also notice that we will help you see what your friends and family are up to on other Web sites. You’ll get updates on what they share on the Internet as well as sharing your activity with them from the places you regularly visit such as YouTube, Blogger, Yelp, Picasa, and more. For example if your best mate shares new photos on Flickr or a video on YouTube, you’ll be informed about it on your Yahoo! Mail welcome page.
For obvious privacy reason, everyone will have the hability to manage who is seeing what.
Filtering of Your Important Email
If you get a lot of mail, sometimes you just want a quick way to see the messages that are important to you. With the smarter Inbox you will be able to filter your Inbox (or any folder for that matter) to see just the messages from people in your Addressbook or just your connections.
Check out this video tour that shows you it all in action:
Wait a sec’ – I’m not sure that I want that
These changes will not be turned on by default. But if want to try the new features out and you don’t find these changes to your liking you can turn the features off by editing your Mail Options to disable the social feature.
How do I get it?
We will be adding these features to both Yahoo! Mail Classic and the new Yahoo! Mail version in the UK soon. If you think it sounds pretty cool and you would like to get these great new features in your Yahoo! Mail account, you only need to quickly create your Yahoo! profile and you will automatically get the update. Once it’s done you can invite your most closest contacts to connect with you.
Andrew & Gregory Talon – Yahoo! Mail Team
You’ve all probably seen some sort of scam email, and by now you probably think you’ll never be fooled by one. But from time to time, I get one that I think is particularly cunning. And it reminds me that it’s never a bad thing to have a little refresher course on how to avoid be the victim of phishing scams. I received this email over the weekend, and thought I’d share it with you as a particularly good example of a phishing email.
Phishing, for those of you unfamiliar with the term, is the act of trying to trick you into revealing your account and login information via a fake email or fake Website. The one pictured above is a prime example of a phishing email, which uses a scare tactic to try to solicit you to send your account details and password. Here I’m being asked for the password for my Yahoo! account, and the email threatens that I could lose my account if I don’t send my info. It could just as easily been my banking information.
The most important thing you need to know is that we will never ask you for your password. NEVER!! And we would certainly never ask you to give us any of your account information unsolicited. Banking sites, like Yahoo!, are the same and you will never be asked for your account details in an email.
So if you receive an email like the one above, don’t fall for it. Just delete it, or better yet, report it using this form.
Find more tips for online safety in this blog post, and this one too.
Andrew – Yahoo! Mail Team
After tabulating the results of the survey about email pet peeves that we ran last month on this blog, it turns out that your biggest email bugbear is the use of text speak in the body of an email. In fact, more than 1 in 5 of you think so. Here’s a list of the top five email pet peeves as voted by you our loyal blog readers:
- Use of text speak such as LOL and BTW (22%)
- Mass distribution emails to 5 or more recipients (16%)
- Use of ‘shouting’ CAPITAL letters (15%)
- No entry in subject line (12%)
- Read receipts (10%)
With those results in mind, we’ve teamed up with leading etiquette expert Jean Broke-Smith to put together the rules of email engagement. This guide should help you use email more effectively, and show you how you can get the most out of email.
Here it is the definitive guide to email etiquette and don’t forget to share it with your m8s ;-)
Do….create the right impression and banish the BTWs. People react to email within seconds of receiving it. As the Yahoo! research shows, text speak can be very annoying and shows a lack of correct spelling ability and laziness. It won’t impress!
Don’t… offend. Using capitals is the email equivalent of SHOUTING and is perceived as being extremely rude, so make sure your caps lock is switched off.
Do…. include a subject line. You’ve got three seconds to grab attention when an email appears and by not including a subject in the email, the chances of it being read are greatly reduced. Use the subject line for the purpose it was made and tell people what the email is about.
Don’t… use read receipts. Read receipts demonstrate a distinct lack of trust, so avoid where possible. Follow up with a phone call if you want to ensure your message has reached the right person.
Do… remember the recipient. The failsafe method for emailing is to imagine you are writing a succinct letter. Address the recipient in the correct manner and title. You can be light hearted and humorous as in any written communication, it is a just a matter of judgment. But if you don’t know the recipient, don’t be over familiar and sign off with the right degree of formality.
Don’t…. use CC and BCC unnecessarily. The no. 2 email bug bear is mass distribution of emails, so exercise constraint when it comes to copying people in. If the email is important to other people, simply forward to them at the end, rather than them being caught up in a never-ending email trail. Likewise use the BCC button wisely, again forward emails separately rather than ‘hiding’ other recipients.
Do… take your time. Because of the instant nature of emails it is tempting to deal with them immediately, but rushing an email can lead to errors. Deal with them promptly but don’t panic and reply in haste and always check what you have written before you hit send.
Don’t… over use ‘importance’. Before you even consider using a red exclamation mark, ask yourself is this really important? Only use when it is vital that the email is read, otherwise you are drawing unnecessary attention to yourself and it is a quick way of irritating recipients.
Do…save the kisses. Over familiarity towards your boss or work colleagues is bad etiquette, keep the love and kisses for very good friends.
Don’t… email when angry. If you receive a ‘harsh’ email, read it through, then close it and walk away. Consider your response and if necessary ask someone else to read your reply before you send it, don’t fight fire with fire.
Do… choose a sensible email address. Common sense tells you that you are less likely to land a job if you use a frivolous email address, such as, firstname.lastname@example.org. Think about what your email address says about you as it’s an insight into your personality.
Don’t… hide behind email. It is often easier to write something in words than it is to say it out loud, but don’t say something on email that you wouldn’t say in person. Emails have longevity and it can come back to haunt you!
Andrew – Yahoo! Mail Team
On April 1st you may have noticed an advertisement from one of our trusted partners, Travelzoo, obscuring important parts of your Mailbox and making it difficult to use Yahoo! Mail. I want to let you know that the placement of the advertisement was a mistake on our end and in no way was Travelzoo responsible for the placement of the ad. We regret the mistake and want to let you know that we have sent the following letter of apology to our partners at Travelzoo:
On the evening of Wednesday 1st April, there was a human scheduling error at Yahoo! that resulted in showing a large Travelzoo ad in a part of Yahoo! Mail meant for a much smaller ad. This was not something that you – Travelzoo – asked for, nor was it something that Yahoo! would have knowingly approved for Mail, or on any of its properties.
As a result Yahoo! Mail users experienced difficulty accessing their Mail as the wrongly sized ad obscured necessary buttons. They may have thought that Travelzoo was the responsible party. We acknowledge that Travelzoo neither condones that particular ad placement nor had responsibility for the mistake.
As soon as Yahoo! became aware of the mistake, the error was rectified by midday on the 2nd April.
Yahoo! would like to apologise not only to Travelzoo for any negative impact to your brand, but also to the Yahoo! Mail users for the inconvenience caused.
We take responsibility to our advertisers and our users very seriously and will therefore use our best effort to ensure that it does not happen again.
Please do let us know if you have any further questions on this matter.
Andrew – Yahoo! Mail Team
I get a lot of email, and I mean a lot. Every once in a while I receive one that I find very annoying. Today someone sent me one in ALL CAPS. I mean there’s no need to shout, I’m a nice guy.
I’m sure that sometimes people are not aware that there are, in fact, rules when writing an email. And email to friends is usually different from business emails. But just like that old archaic form of communication the hand-written letter, there is a ‘netiquette’ to be followed when you compose an Email.
The email I just received prompted me to think about all the things that have annoyed me in the past. So these are what you voted as your biggest email pet peeves.
Which of the following would you rate as your top email bug bear:
- Use of text speak such as LOL and BTW (22.0%)
- Mass distribution emails to 5 or more recipients (16.0%)
- Use of ‘shouting’ CAPITAL letters (15.0%)
- No entry in subject line (12.0%)
- Read receipts (10.0%)
- Inappropriate flagging of emails as High Importance (7.0%)
- Smiley faces (6.0%)
- Excessive exclamation marks (4.0%)
- Kisses as a sign off from your boss or work colleague (4.0%)
- Formal sign off from a friend (3.0%)
- Informal sign off from a work colleague (Cheers) (1.0%)
Total Votes: 1,321
Andrew – Yahoo! Mail Team
I want to give a quick heads up that we are conducting maintenance this coming weekend that might impact some of you. The maintenance is part of our ongoing efforts to give you the best Mail service possible.
Beginning the night of March 13 (London, UK time), you may experience problems accessing your Yahoo! Mail account. If you are one of the very few affected, have no fear. It should be available again the mid-morning of March 14. Apologies for any inconvenience this causes you.
As always, please feel free to contact customer care for any concerns or issues. They can be reached via this link: http://help.yahoo.com/l/uk/yahoo/mail/classic/forms_index.html
Thanks for your patience.
Andrew – Yahoo! Mail Team