Following Yahoo’s September announcement of a data breach affecting 500 million user accounts, the company has made it more difficult for Yahoo Mail users to transition to another email service. At the beginning of October, Yahoo disabled an email forwarding feature, which would allow users to automatically redirect incoming emails sent to their Yahoo address to another account.
(Disclosure: TechCrunch parent company Verizon is acquiring Yahoo.)
The AP first reported this change, citing conversations with several Yahoo customers who sought out the feature in wake of the news regarding the data breach.
Disabling email forwarding is a fairly transparent move aimed at stemming a potential exodus from Yahoo Mail to other email providers.
This message reads as follows:
This feature is under development. While we work to improve it, we’ve temporarily disabled the ability to turn on Mail Forwarding for new forwarding addresses. If you’ve already enabled Mail Forwarding in the past, your email will continue to forward to the address you previously configured.
In other words, Yahoo Mail users who had already set up forwarding won’t be affected, but anyone trying to forward their mail now won’t have the option.