By Tracey Dowdy
Did you get an email from Yahoo stating you may be eligible for compensation due to a data breach? Unfortunately, it’s not a scam. If you had a Yahoo account between 2012 and 2016, you’re eligible to take part in a class action settlement to compensate you for losses as the result of a data hack.
According to Yahoo, over the past several years, hackers gained access to Yahoo user accounts on multiple occasions and stole user’s private emails, calendars, and contacts. On the Frequently Asked Questions page of their website, Yahoo outlines just how far the hackers went.
- In the initial breach in 2012, Yahoo states that no data was taken, but in 2013, hackers gained access to all of the more than three billion Yahoo accounts. They stole names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, passwords, and answers to users’ security questions.
- Then in In November 2014, “malicious actors” again gained access to Yahoo’s user database and “accessed the names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, passwords, and security questions and answers of Yahoo account holders.”
- From 2015 to September 2016, hackers bypassed the need for a user account password by creating “forged cookies” that provided them with access to Yahoo email accounts, impacting approximately 32 million user accounts worldwide.
As a result, Yahoo has announced that if you had a Yahoo account any time between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2016, and are a resident of either the US or Israel, you are eligible to file a claim for part of the $117,500,000 settlement fund. This includes accounts with Yahoo Fantasy Sports, Yahoo Finance, Tumblr, and Flickr.
As for how much compensation you can expect, the number varies, and you may choose either money or credit monitoring.
According to the website, the settlement provides the following benefits to Settlement Class Members:
- Data Security Practice Changes and Commitments by Yahoo (see FAQ 10);
- Credit Monitoring Services (see FAQ 11, FAQ 17);
- Cash Payment as an Alternative to Credit Monitoring Services (see FAQ 12, FAQ 17);
- Fraud Resolution Services (see FAQ 13);
- Cash Reimbursement for Out-of-Pocket Losses (see FAQ 14 and FAQ 18);
- Cash Reimbursement for up to 25% of Paid User Costs (see FAQ 15 and FAQ 19); and
- Cash Reimbursement for up to 25% of Small Business User Costs (see FAQ 16 and FAQ 20).
If you choose to submit a claim, you must submit all forms online or postmarked by mail by July 20, 2020.
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.