December 16, 2016
The Yahoo Hack Could Affect You Without An Active Yahoo Email Account

On Thursday, Yahoo confirmed data "associated with at least 500 million user accounts" had been hacked. According to CNN, this Yahoo hack could be one of the biggest cyber security breaches in history.

If you have an active Yahoo email, chances are pretty good you have already scrambled to make sure your account was not compromised because of the hack. Even if you were fortunate enough for your account not to be one of the 500 million accounts with data stolen as a result of the hack, you still likely changed your login information.

Was your Yahoo email hacked
Yahoo hack announced [Image by 10 FACE / Shutterstock.com]

The question is – what if you do not have an active Yahoo email account? Do you really need to be concerned with this recent hack? Per CNN, you might.

CNN claims just because you do not have an active Yahoo email address, it does not necessarily mean you have nothing to worry about when it comes to this hack. In fact, there are plenty of people who have an account through Yahoo without even realizing it. There are even some people who just have an old Yahoo email account they do not use anymore.

Do you participate in fantasy sports using Yahoo Sports? Do you use Tumblr? How about Flickr? These are just three examples of websites that require you to have a Yahoo account in order to have an account with them as well.

Per Thorsheim, a global cybersecurity expert based in Norway, claims a lot of people have Yahoo accounts without even realizing they do. "There are lots of people, millions of people, who don't understand they have a Yahoo account."

Yahoo announced the hack was committed by a "state-sponsored actor" back in 2014.

Since the Yahoo hack was announced, most of the attention shifted to focus on anyone who currently has an active Yahoo email account. Per Thorsheim, however, claims his biggest concern is the fact that a lot of Yahoo users do not realize how much of their information the hackers could get their hands on including names, telephone numbers, email addresses, and birthdays. This includes any personal information you would punch in to a profile on a website that required you to have a Yahoo email address without actually using the Yahoo email address.

CNN reports Yahoo has yet to give out any details regarding which Yahoo accounts were victim to the hack. Despite the media outlet reaching out to Yahoo, the email provider also hadn't specified whether or not Yahoo Sports accounts were included in the recent hack.

Per Thorsheim also wanted to draw attention to the fact that there are likely millions of people who have a Yahoo email address they used at one point in time and then forgot about. What these people do not realize is the Yahoo account is still active and still contains a lot of personal information even if it is not being used.

Yahoo announces massive data breach
More than 500 Yahoo accounts hacked [Image by Evan Lorne / Shutterstock.com]

In situations like these, it is in the people's best interests to delete any email accounts they are no longer using. Ideally, you should delete an account on any website you are no longer using. This is especially true if you were required to supply personal information when you made the account.

Per Thorsheim stresses the idea that you can just stop using an email account that is no longer active and not worry about it anymore puts you at risk of your personal information being stolen.

"The idea that 'I don't use that account any more, I don't have to worry about it.' - in most cases, unfortunately that's wrong. If you have an account that you don't use, you should delete it. But very few people do that. I'm guilty of not doing that myself."
Do you have an active Yahoo account? When was the last time you changed your password? Share your thoughts on the recent Yahoo hack in the comments down below.

[Featured Image by IB Photography / Shutterstock.com]