One drawback in today’s digital age of free internet services is that some companies have turned your personal information into a form of currency, monetizing your data. Yahoo Mail, in particular, is one that continues to scan and sell the contents of user’s emails to advertisers.
While some other platforms are pulling back on what they divulge to third parties, Yahoo continues to cash in on user data. In 2016, security experts warned their clients not to use Yahoo due to the company’s rampant spying on of email contents. Now, it seems Yahoo is ramping up its data-catching apparatus.
Still using Yahoo Mail? Here’s a privacy control you should know about
“Yahoo’s owner, the Oath unit of Verizon Communications Inc., has been pitching a service to advertisers that analyzes more than 200 million Yahoo Mail inboxes and the rich user data they contain, searching for clues about what products those users might buy, said people who have attended Oath’s presentations as well as current and former employees of the company,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
The practice has left Yahoo as the only major U.S. email provider that still scans people’s emails to sell to marketers, according to the Journal. If you wonder how Yahoo can get away with that, it’s because you’ve agreed to it in the terms of service.
Money expert Clark Howard says Yahoo is making money out the wazoo at the expense of our personal information — and it’s not right. “This is a terrible invasion of privacy,” he says.
“When you start getting into email, which is really a form of private messaging, and to have the email service spying on you is really something that you want to think about. And also what you should really start thinking about is if Yahoo Mail is something you still want to use.”
Here are 6 Yahoo email alternatives
There are a number of free email alternatives to Yahoo that are just as good, easy to use, and most importantly, not spying on you. Here are a few:
- Gmail: The Google product offers more than 10GB of free storage and has a top-notch spam filter.
- Outlook.com: This durable Microsoft email service has expanded skydrive integration, which includes access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint files.
- Zoho Mail: Another Google product, this service features chat messaging, calendar, task manager and notes.
- Mail.com: This service lets you select your own email domain name from a list of more than 200 pre-loaded occupations. For instance, you could choose [email protected], [email protected], etc.
- Fastmail: Their free or guest plan gives you 25MB of email storage.
- Proton Mail: This free, encrypted email service is a favorite of Clark.
Of course, you may not want to change your email provider if you’ve been with Yahoo for a long time. If you’re determined to stay with Yahoo Mail and don’t want to switch, here’s how to change your privacy settings:
How to change your privacy settings on Yahoo Mail
- Go to Oath’s Privacy Settings and see all the privacy controls that govern your Yahoo experience.
- Click on Ad Interest Manager, where you can selectively manage each interest or opt out of personalized advertising by Yahoo’s and AOL ad systems.
- Click on Opt-Out of Interest-Based Advertising and you will be taken to a page called Your Ad Choices.
With this browser tool, you can control the collection and use of interest-based advertising as well as opt out of any or all of the ads.
If you want to totally cut access to what advertisers can know about you, just click on the blue button at the bottom of the page that says “Opt out of all.”