Yahoo, the popular search engine and email provider, has come under fire recently with a reported data breach of 500 million users. This may be cause for concern for Yahoo’s users, and some may be looking to switch to another service hoping for a higher and more reliable level of security. Unfortunately, switching email providers is not always an easy task. One of the features that many users take advantage of when switching from one service to another is email forwarding, which will forward a copy of all incoming mail to another email address, either within the same service or elsewhere. Recently, however, Yahoo has disabled this feature, making it more difficult for users to switch to another service without hassle.
According to Yahoo’s help website, the feature is listed as “under development.” Yahoo claims that they are taking efforts to improve the feature, and that while those improvements are in development, it will not be available. Although the website cites improving the feature as the reason behind its temporary disappearance, it is likely that this move was largely motivated by the need to make it more difficult for users to switch to another email provider as a reaction to concerns over security. Those who wish to leave Yahoo, for now, at least, will not have the option to have their email forwarded while they adjust to the switch. In fact, users may not even currently be able to leave the service at all. Some users have reported that when trying to delete their accounts, they get a similar error, denying them access to the option that would allow them to get rid of their accounts.
Yahoo’s efforts to maintain their customer base may be placed at a higher priority than usual, given their plan to sell the company to wireless giant Verizon. Due to the massive data breach, Verizon has already requested a reduction of $1 billion from their originally agreed upon purchase price of $4.8 billion, and Yahoo is likely looking to keep as many current users as possible to keep its value from declining further. If you happen to use Yahoo Mail and would like to switch, the process may not be as practical, but it can still be done, you’ll just need to take your own measures to make sure all your mail gets to the right place, at least until the forwarding option is available again. Those who had email forwarding configured prior to this change will not be affected by it, and their email will continue to be forwarded according to their settings.