I know it’s been awhile since I visited your inbox, but the news that you kept a hack secret for 2 years where user data including security questions were compromised made me finally do what I should have done years ago: leave you permanently by deleting my account.
I’ve had my Yahoo! email account since 1995 when I stepped out into web using a Packard Bell Pentium PC I purchased while in the States waiting for my Japanese work visa to clear. Until the arrival of GMail you were my homepage and my go-to email client. Many of my most important emails passed through the your inbox. The announcement of my son’s birth. The resumes and job leads that helped start and build my IT career. The hatemail I received after I was profiled in a Wired story about offshoring.
Even though the level of spam drove me to GMail as soon as I got the invite to join (yep, GMail started out by invitation only making me feel ever so briefly like I was one of the cool kids), I kept my Yahoo! account for nostalgia reasons. The fact that during our 21 year relationship I was never able to stop spam from a band called the Newsboys, should have pushed me to wipe out my data with you completely, but honestly, I am a nostalgia freak. I kept my inbox open even when I hadn’t received a non-spam email in it for over 10 years. It was a comfort, like the old high school jacket I keep but never wear or the ticket stubs to punk and goth shows I attended that are in the bottom of a box somewhere in the basement.
But my nostalgia has exposed me to the real danger of identity theft and it’s time to man up and cut ties. Although it took some googling to figure out how to delete the account, as well as some irksome Captcha input, I’ve deleted my Yahoo! account even though my information has been in the wild now for close to 2 years. You’ve taught me an important lesson: If I want to feed my nostalgia craving I should do it offline. Every online account exposes me to fraud, and your blasé treatment of my data proves that no company can be completely trusted with my personal data.
I have terminated my account with you and recommend others do the same. I’ve known the world is a dangerous place and we cannot count on politicians or CEOs to do the right thing, but it’s a realization I’ve lived with offline for decades. It’s time I took it seriously online as well.
So goodbye Yahoo! I really doubt that Verizon will have much success with turning you around. My guess is that in 2 years you’ll be just a big tax writeoff and your logo will become just a memory. That is if you aren’t sued into oblivion first. Rest assured I’ll be waiting for the class action letter in my Gmail inbox.