I Can't Access My Yahoo Email Because Someone Changed My Security Questions & My Password
By Chuck Malenfant
If you find that Yahoo won't accept your password and you suspect you've been hacked, you may try to access your account by answering your secret security questions. If you've forgotten the answers to these or, worse, they have been changed, you can reset your password using an alternate email address or your mobile phone.
Reset Your Password
Click the "I can't access my Yahoo account" link on the Yahoo Mail log in page. This will take you to the Yahoo Password Helper page (see Resources).
Select "My account may have been compromised" and click the "Next" button.
Enter your Yahoo ID in the text box labeled "My Yahoo ID is" and type the security code the page displays in the text box below that. Click the "Next" button.
Choose how you would like to reset your password. You may enter an alternate email address or a mobile phone number. If you enter an email address, you will receive an email from Yahoo at an address containing a link for you to follow. If you enter a mobile phone number, you will be taken to a page asking for a security code. Yahoo will send you a text message that includes this code. Click the "Next" button to continue.
Log in to your alternate email account or check your mobile phone for a text message from Yahoo. Following the link in the email from Yahoo, or typing the code from the text message into the Web page Yahoo displays after you enter a mobile phone number, takes you to a page where you may create a new password.
Type your new password in the text field provided. Type your new password again in the "Retype the new password" field. Yahoo provides information on choosing a good password (see Resources). Click the "Next" button to return to the Yahoo log in page.
Sign in with your Yahoo ID and your new password. You will be taken to a confirmation page notifying you that you have successfully reset your password. Click the "Continue" button to access your email and other Yahoo services.
Update Your Security Questions
Log in to Yahoo Mail.
Hover your mouse over the exclamation mark icon next to your personal greeting near the upper-right corner of the page. Select "Account Info" from the drop-down menu. You may be asked to log in or enter your password again.
Click on "Update password reset-info" in the Sign-In and Security area of the page.
Select "Change Questions and Answers" in the Secret Questions area of the page. Select new secret questions from the drop-down menus and enter the appropriate answers. Make sure they are answers you will remember. Click on the "Done" button when you are finished.
- If you request to reset your account by entering an alternate email address, be sure and check the Spam or Junk folder of your email if you don't see Yahoo's message right away.
- Follow the instructions in the email or text message you receive from Yahoo immediately. For your security, Yahoo imposes a time limit on these instructions.
- After creating a new password, you will need to update it on any mobile devices running a Yahoo application.
- Yahoo offers two optional security features to protect your account: a Personal Sign-in Seal and Second Sign-in Verification (see Resources).
- Yahoo suggests checking key settings in your Yahoo Mail if you think your account has been compromised (see resources).
- Change your passwords for Yahoo and all other online services regularly.
- If you believe your Yahoo Mail has been compromised, assume your other online accounts are at risk as well. Change your log in information for your bank accounts, your other email addresses, your credit card accounts and any other online accounts you have.
- Never use the same ID and password for different accounts.
Chuck Malenfant has been working in high-tech educational environments since 1994, serving as a teacher, trainer, writer, research librarian and administrator. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in writing from Arizona State University, as well as a Master of Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University. Malenfant serves as a computer literacy trainer at Broward County Library.