Yahoo Begins Recycling E-Mail Accounts

Do you have an inactive Yahoo email address? Starting on July 15th; Yahoo will release the email addresses that have been inactive for a period of 12 months. These email addresses will become available mid-August.

Yahoo has recently announced its intent on recycling email addresses, but this is really an old policy. In a post from 2010, Yahoo states: “In most cases your account will be deactivated and then deleted from our user registration database in approximately 90 days. This delay is necessary to discourage users from engaging in fraudulent activity. Additionally, due to the limited number of names available, we may allow other users to sign up for and use your current Yahoo! ID and profile names after your account has been deleted.”

It appears that this “new policy” is part of the company rebranding exercise. Yahoo has been working diligently to attract new users, and advertisers.
Who recycles email accounts?

1. Yahoo – Deleted after 12 months of inactivity, reused after 30 days
2. Microsoft – Deleted after 270 days of inactivity, reused after 30 days (per the discussion board)
3. Google – Deleted after 9 months of inactivity, never reused
Not only does Google not recycle an abandoned email address, but they also hold ID’s similar. When the email address is issued, they also make “jane.doe” unavailable. If you accidently delete your account, there is a short window to recover your account before it is gone forever.

Email recycling is good news for those in need of a shorter email, or for that otherwise popular email address. But an email address is more than a message box; it can also be your login ID for other websites. The email is the login identification and the security verification process. So if you lose the email, you will also lose the login. Once an email address is reassigned, the new owner may have access to the ID, and would also receive the verification email when they submit a “forgotten password” request. Yahoo and Microsoft offer assurance that the highest security measures are always taken to ensure user privacy.

Emails are easy to obtain, at no cost, so we have a tendency to continually acquire new ones. But perhaps they should be better managed and protected from deactivation. To avoid your email from being recycled, be sure to regularly log in to your email account(s).