Today morning when I logged into my Yahoo Account, which I do once in a week as it’s not my primary account, the inbox looked totally different from how it usually looks. I was expecting to have few spam emails, notifications from social networking websites etc. But this time my Inbox had emails from Vodafone about my post-paid bill, email from a credit card company and many unusual emails. The shocking thing is, I don’t use Vodafone, neither have I owned a Credit. It seemed like I hacked into someone else’s Yahoo Account.
Here is what happened
In an attempt to get the Yahoo Mail back in limelight and gets it’s lost glory, Yahoo decided to delete all the inactive emails and free them up for the current users. Which seemed to be a good news for folks who were late to the internet party and had to settle down with email ids like email@example.com.
Yahoo asked to create a wish list of email IDs you desire and if they were inactive, would be available to you a month later.
I got the desired email id last week. It was an email id which was being used by someone else at some point of time, but they stopped logging into it. But even if you stop logging, the email won’t stop getting delivered and this was the case with this email account. The previous user of this email id was still getting the emails.
What Information it gave me about the previous user
I got an email from his phone company which had the bill attached to it. I can get his Home Address and a full list of calls he has made.
His Facebook account is linked to this email, which means I can get into his Facebook, view his private photos, conversation etc. I can pretend to be him and get more information from friends and family.
He recently has listed his Nokia Asha Phone on OLX. (Seems like he was already aware of the Microsoft Nokia Deal)
Disclosure: I did not hack into the previous user’s Facebook profile, neither did I publicize his any detail. This post is just to show you how these Email providers handle your private data.