Using Yahoo Mail? You should turn on this privacy option as soon as possible

Filed Under: Featured, Privacy, Web Browsers

YahooIt has taken Yahoo a ridiculously long time, but it is finally rolling out an option that will help protect users' privacy when accessing their web-based email - HTTPS.

Yahoo Mail has lagged behind competitors such as Hotmail (in the process of being rebranded and Gmail by not allowing users to access their email through HTTPS.

If you don't have full-session HTTPS turned on for your webmail, anybody on your WiFi network could read any of the emails you write and receive using a tool like FireSheep, as they are transmitted from Yahoo to your browser.

That's because, without HTTPS, they are sent as unencrypted text.

If you are using Yahoo Mail, my advice is to enable this privacy option as soon as possible. Here's how you do it:

Yahoo Mail options screen

  • Select "Options/Mail Options" on your main Yahoo Mail screen
  • Choose "General"
  • Select "Turn On SSL".

Https enabled on a Yahoo Mail account

Bingo! You're all done.

It's unfortunate that Yahoo has made the HTTPS/SSL setting disabled by default, meaning that users are required to turn it on if they want better privacy. Hopefully in time, Yahoo will decide to enable the option by default - as it is with Gmail, Hotmail and

Now, is it too much to hope that AOL might be the next to implement a HTTPS option for its email service?

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81 Responses to Using Yahoo Mail? You should turn on this privacy option as soon as possible

  1. Don't forget anyone with Sky emails are moving from Gmail to Yahoo soon

  2. Norm · 962 days ago

    The option is not there for me. Any idea on how quickly this is being rolled out?

    • They say they have started to roll the option out - hopefully everyone will have it soon.

      • kiuas · 603 days ago

        after "Turn On SSL" like you advice Invalid Server Certificate error appear when i try to log on yahoo mail

    • murip · 962 days ago

      Its there. Mayne you still have "old yahoo"

    • Yiannaki · 962 days ago

      It's there, goto the clog, hover over it and goto mail options. Then to the bottom & activate it.

    • Go to the tools on the top right hand next to the Home icon and click on Mail options scroll down and it's there

    • J R · 962 days ago

      once you open yahoo mail look to the upper right corner and you will see the round sprocket (settings button) click that and it will open, click mail options and it will bring up the screen shown above

    • Charlie · 962 days ago

      In the top left hand corner there is a 'cog' icon. Click it, select 'mail options'. 'Turn on SSL' is located at the bottom.

    • Carol · 962 days ago

      It seems to be available in the 'New' Yahoo (which I don't like), but not in the old classic yahoo.

      • Brenda · 894 days ago

        I agree - I do NOT like the "New" Yahoo... have switched back to the original Yahoo email...

        It's not there in the classic email... :(

      • Hi. I still have classic yahoo and the option is there, abeit, a little workaround.

        I just performed it and now, it is https all the time and not toggling between http and https. Here's the workaround:

        1. Look for the upper right hand drop-down form populated with Profile as default.
        2. Select Options from this drop-down menu
        3. Hit the GO button after selecting Options
        4. Under Advanced Options to the left panel, select SSL
        5. Make sure to check the checkbox with the statement: Make your Yahoo! Mail more secure with SSL
        6. Make sure you hit Save at the top
        7. Now https to all your hearts content

    • Norm · 962 days ago

      Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. I've gone back to check and the option is just not there. I think this may be due to the fact that I have AT&T email powered by Yahoo. Looks like either it isn't being made available to us or, hopefully, just not yet.

    • Phillipduran · 961 days ago

      Click on the gear icon near your name on the right side of the mail window and you will find the Mail Options link.

      • Brenda · 894 days ago

        I do not have a gear icon... I have looked all over the page..not there.

      • James Mayfield · 617 days ago

        I have the gear but my options are Themes, Settings, Add Free Mail, Help, Privacy, Terms, About our ads, Account info. and that's it, no option to fix it. Do you know what I should do?

        • Anonymous · 599 days ago

          Same thing here James. This thread may be too old now for anyone who knows to answer but I hope they will.

  3. Jamie · 962 days ago

    No folder labeled "Options" in my mail....

    • jamie look for the little thingy that looks like a gear . I found it at the top right next to my personal icon. click it and it will display mail options

    • Barbara · 959 days ago

      Top left next to your name is select options and in the drop select mail options.

  4. ignalam · 962 days ago

    Try at the top right part of the page.

  5. Doug · 962 days ago

    No SSL choice/option under General for me either.

  6. Doug · 962 days ago

    I had to pick the "upgrade" choice for yahoo mail and THEN there was an option under General that allowed me to switch to SSL. Picking SAVE then did a refresh and asked for a password again....then it had an https: connection.

  7. Terry · 962 days ago

    I have no option ether.

  8. guest · 962 days ago

    This is for the Updated mail accounts......not if you have the Yahoo Classic mail. If you have updated, use the 'gear' icon to find your Mail Options.

  9. Shirley · 962 days ago

    Not there for me either......

  10. Czerno · 962 days ago

    HTTPS is good but it should stay a user's choice on a case by case basis, never a default.

    Meseems you're making an incorrect assumption, namely that all browsers are HTTPS capable.

  11. pat · 962 days ago

    i'm on sbcglobal but is (run by?) yahoo, and do not see https. No option to turn on either! Suggestions? Thanks.

    • Jackie · 962 days ago

      I am on ATT Uverse and the option is there but in the right hand corner it looks like a cog or sprocket. Click that and go to options. See if that works. Did for me.

      • pat · 962 days ago

        Thanks Jackie. Maybe it's not there due to the older sbc and not att(dotnet) email(?). The only sprocket is above the page, but is on the browser, not for email. Dang it. I do have u-verse though. Thank you for the suggestion. I may call them tomorrow.

      • pat · 962 days ago

        Just to clarify, I have checked options on both my email addresses. One I use the 'classic mail' the other, the later updated version. Thanks!

  12. Khalila RedBird · 962 days ago

    Thank you! I just did it.

  13. ktz · 962 days ago

    You have to click on the cog/wheel thing in the upper right corner, then click 'mail options', 2nd on the list.

  14. Jason · 962 days ago

    I'm still using Yahoo Classic, and I don't see the option anywhere.

  15. Shell · 962 days ago

    I also do not have that option - Is the fact that AT&T merged my yahoo account with my AT&T account going to have any bearing on this? I would LOVE to deactivate my yahoo-account (period) but because they are merged I am unable to do it. So if I can set up secure email I would do that instead

  16. Fran · 962 days ago

    Same here. Should it just appear, or is it part of an interface upgrade?

  17. John · 962 days ago

    Next to your username in the upper right, you will see a gear. Click on that and Mail Options should appear in the dropdown menu.

  18. costin · 962 days ago

    had no idea about this. thanks for the heads up!

  19. there's a cog wheel top right of the screen near your signed in name and home sign , click that and select mail options from there just follow the steps recommended by Sophos above

  20. Linda · 962 days ago

    Thank you very much for this info I found by chance after googling Yahoo mail's problems with service. It is about time they deployed this much-needed feature. I was about to switch providers because of yesterday's security lapse but now am rethinking that decision. Thanks again.

  21. antfaber · 962 days ago

    I'm another Yahoo Classic user and don't see it. I'd like to know if Classic users will get this, too, so I know whether to bother checking periodically to see if it's been rolled out to my account yet.

  22. Roger · 962 days ago

    It's taken an absurdly long time for them to fix the problem. Two Yahoo users I know had their accounts taken over and used to transmit spam to people (including me!) in their address books. In both cases, I recommended to them that they change to Gmail. One listened to me. 50%: Not a bad average.

  23. Ken · 962 days ago

    So it says it prevents "others accessing your account at internet cafes"... Is this even necessary if i am not working on a wireless network??

  24. alvinoid · 962 days ago

    This option still not available on Yahoo classic email as of 1-8-12

  25. Garrett · 962 days ago

    Tried it out and now I can't seem to get back in to read my mail. any suggestions?

  26. hans · 962 days ago

    Thank you - found it upper right corner (wheel)

  27. Henry H · 962 days ago

    Saying that the user HAD to "upgrade" their e-mail account before this feature was available would have been helpful!!

  28. Mary · 961 days ago

    Done, thanks :)


  29. Nikesh · 961 days ago

    Thanks Naked Security!

    I wouldn't of even known about this if it weren't for your daily newsletters.

  30. David L · 961 days ago

    Doesn't appear on BT Yahoo email.

  31. MikeP_UK · 961 days ago

    Graham, how about updating the piece to show it only applies to those using the updated version and not Classic. It is also not shown in the BT mail ( as that still uses the Classic interface.

  32. KLO · 961 days ago

    I had to look for the cog wheel but had no problems after I did this. Yahoo just changed the look of the mail program and I'm still not used to it and not sure I like it but no choice except to change to another mail program and not ready to do that yet.

  33. Leo · 961 days ago

    I am an ATT.NET user and am wandering around many screens in Yahoo and ATT but have not found the pages referred to with the mail options. If someone can figure this out from a log in with URL, and post it, it would be most appreciated.

  34. John · 961 days ago

    Thank you!

  35. Mechanic wheel>Mail Options>Check the box Turn on SSL It's good on shared computer networks.You well always have to enter your password to get in your mail,you can't just check the box Keep me signed in.

  36. Hover over the "gear" at the upper right on your yahoo email screen.
    Click on "Mail Options"
    The Options tab will appear. Don't have to click it. You will already be in the General Settings page.
    Scroll to the bottom of the page.
    Click in the Checkbox next to "Turn On SSL."
    Hit SAVE. (Yellowbutton)
    Yahoo will relaunch in HTTPS.

  37. Val · 959 days ago

    Not available via BT Yahoo Mail, or so it would seem. The Options page is identical to the one in screenshot above, but doesn't have the SSL choice bit at the bottom - it finishes after Advanced Settings/Font choice. :-(

  38. Val · 959 days ago

    Not available via BT Yahoo Mail, or so it would seem. The Options page is identical to the one in screenshot above, but doesn't have the SSL choice bit at the bottom - it finishes after Advanced Settings/Font choice. :-(

  39. Charlie · 957 days ago

    Yahoo mail is coming up with error 15, what does this mean? I can't access my account since I turned on SSL

  40. davy watt · 944 days ago

    i`ve just checked my BTYahoo account & i can`t see the https option either.
    Or is it just in yahoo mail that you don`t get the https option?

  41. Peter P · 906 days ago

    No SSL option on my BT-Yahoo mail either (I know how to get to the General page under 'Mail Optiopns.') ..... and I have NEVER been able to save the e-mails I have sent in the 'Sent E-mails' folder, DESPITE the fact that this option has always been checked (ticked). No way can you e-mail Yahoo help, none of their 'suggestions' help either. I believe there might be a premium rate 'phone number to call though - at around £1.50 per minute.
    Unfortunately, as I am a BT customer, I think I'm lumbered with Yahoo - like it or not!

  42. Anom · 898 days ago

    i did it now i get error 15, can't log in .....arg

  43. bruce · 896 days ago

    after I clicked the ssl box in my yahoo mail option, I can not read any of my emails and I can not access to any of the inbox, contacts, etc. How can I remove the ssl and reverse back to the original yahoo mail. right now my yahoo mail box is useless.


  44. jennie · 890 days ago

    mine has been marked from day 1 and my account has been hacked and still hacked, what do I do now. do i delete yahoo!!!

  45. Jass · 864 days ago

    OK...this is another attempt to force Classic Yahoo Mail users into a lesser form of Yahoo web mail. This option is NOT AVAILABLE to those of us who do not like the new & improved version of Yahoo mail. (Yahoo doesn't know about the saying of "If it's not broken...DON'T fix it!")

    Does anyone know when the SSL option will be available to ALL Yahoo users?

  46. Guest · 862 days ago

    As of April 19th, Yahoo has been rolling downhill fast. Most of my e-mail options and most icons everywhere are gone!!! When I bring up mail, only half a screen shows when I have tons of mail. I have looked at the mail options, looked at changing text fixes, etc. NOTHING WORKS. I use Firefox FYI. Also, lately I have been seeing strange syntax strings on the login page, bottom left. They are not the normal yahoo string sites. I have scanned everything for all types of stuff. Running BitDefender, did not pick anything up. The other odd thing on Yahoo is that while reading mail the screen turns black for a nanosecond and comes right back. Last time when I used it, it would not let me sign out and after waiting for 9 hours, it said trying to load page.

    I hate Yahoo, sorry. Tried to even e-mail customer service weeks ago, never heard back. Their home page is too small and their news is arranged so weird. I am going back to G mail, glad I am not a shareholder in this (expleted) company.

  47. dksadiq · 856 days ago

    Thanks for this. But people shouldn't forget to click "Save." You might want to add that as a forth point. And also that the change can be confirmed with the padlock icon in the browser.

    (I know it should be obvious, but some people might miss it - like I just did. Only realized after I didn't see the padlock icon.)

  48. J.J. Davis · 783 days ago

    There no longer seems to be a print view in the new mail. The only way I can see to print an email is to print "everything"

  49. MTS · 776 days ago

    Here's the cause for the missing options tab for me. You all know that Yahoo and Internet Explorer are now in bed with each other. If you are using Firefox for sure, and probably Chrome also, you will not be given the mail options tab. If you use I.E. you will get everything. All I did was switch back to I.E. [took 10 seconds] and there were the missing features.
    Isn't this discrimination??

  50. Tonja · 771 days ago

    Does anyone know how to get rid of the "me" when a message was written to me?
    I'd rather it say my name. It looks very similar to gmail. I prefer the older version of yahoo... but when I go back to classic- all my contacts are gone. :(

    • Lynne not "me" · 446 days ago

      Did you ever learn how to get rid of the "me" ?

  51. Now, is it too much to hope that AOL might be the next to implement a HTTPS option for its email service?

  52. Gary · 698 days ago


    I turned on the SSL option and screen selections disappeared from view eg reply to sender, reply to all and forward. Also the options button. They are still 'there' but no longer displayed. Only when I changed back to don't use SSL did they reappear.

    This is the final straw - now I'm 'upgrading' to gmail.

    Thanks for the web site

  53. mike · 681 days ago

    FWIW as of Oct 16th 2013. There is no "mail options" selection under the gear icon no matter what browser or computer I use. I've done all the "clear the cache" etc options. It just isn't there. On another note. If I log out of yahoo, then go to yahoo on another tab and attempt to get to mail, it puts me back in with out any authorization. So much for security.

  54. John · 665 days ago

    But now I have to 'log-in every time I want to view my e-mails. How do I remove i SSL?

  55. Joanne · 529 days ago

    Also question the Certificate as I keep getting the red http:// as well as it being crossed out plus my anti virus putting yellow screen up as caution. This just started happening the last two times I logged in to mail. I have checked settings but does not have turn on SSL with the new Yahoo mail program. The one that is shown above is for the old yahoo mail. Been using Yahoo for over a decade this is the first time I have seen this.

  56. Hi, everything is going fine here and ofcourse every one is sharing
    information, that's actually excellent, keep up writing.

  57. becks · 348 days ago

    I can't even sign in though, I've been trying and trying

  58. Cos · 94 days ago

    Hi,what would be my other option to still be able to make a copy of a document that came via email encrypted, since Yahoo Mail does not support encrypted emails with attachments? Thanks. C.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley