Yahoo Mail owner Verizon announced this week that free users of the Yahoo Mail service will soon be unable to use automatic email forwarding options. The company will drop the feature for free accounts entirely on January 1, 2021.
Mail forwarding allows users to forward incoming emails automatically to another account; this can be useful to get emails listed in another email account, e.g. when Yahoo Mail is not the primary account of the user, or if Yahoo Mail is not used actively anymore but some email is important enough to be forwarded.
Yahoo notes on a support page:
Beginning January 1, 2021, automatic forwarding of emails from your Yahoo inbox to a third party email account will no longer be a feature of free Yahoo Mail accounts. Upgrade to Yahoo Mail Pro or subscribe to Access + Forwarding to use the auto forwarding feature at this time.
Starting January 1, 2021, Yahoo Mail will stop forwarding emails to any account. The emails remain in the Yahoo inbox and can be accessed from there, but the option to have these emails forwarded automatically will not be available anymore at that point.
Paying Yahoo Mail customers are unaffected by the change and can continue to use email forwarding just like before.
Yahoo's reason for removing the feature from free accounts is security, according to the support page.
We regularly evaluate our products and services against current security standards and have decided to remove this feature to help ensure free Yahoo Mail accounts remain secure. The change will help us focus on building the best new features and experiences for our Yahoo Mail users.
Email forwarding can be -- and was in the past -- abused to forward important emails, e.g. password resetting emails, pin verification emails, and others, to a hacker's account.
Free Yahoo Mail users who rely on email forwarding are asked to upgrade their accounts to Yahoo Mail Pro or subscribe to Access + Forwarding. Yahoo Mail Pro is available for €3.49 per month giving customers an ad-free environment, better performance, and auto-forwarding among other options.
There are secure alternatives to Yahoo Mail, or other free or paid email services such as Gmail or Outlook. Swiss-based ProtonMail offers paid accounts for 4€ per month, Germany-based Posteo accounts start at 1€ per month, and Tutanota, also Germany-based, accounts start at €1 per month as well.
Yahoo Mail users can check Settings > More Settings > Mailboxes > [primary mailbox account] > Forwarding > Forwarding address to check whether forwarding is enabled.
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