Yahoo: Update your browser or be switched to basic email

After June 5, users running old browsers will have to use a version of Yahoo Mail that doesn't have spell-check or chat.

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Richard Nieva/CNET

Yahoo on Thursday told users of its email service that they'll need to use the most recent iteration of their web browsers, or else they'll be automatically switched to a more bare-bones version of the service.

Specifically, that means upgrading to the two most recent versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari by June 5. If users don't want to make the switch, the'll only be given access to Yahoo's Basic Mail, which does not include spell-check, integration with Yahoo's Messenger chat service, or customizable themes.

Yahoo notes that people running IE 8 -- a browser that is now 5 years old -- will be most widely affected.

The company said the reason for the switch was to improve safety and security. "We understand that this policy update may be frustrating for some affected users," Jeff Bonforte, Yahoo's senior vice president of communication products, said in a blog post.

Security has been top of mind for website owners as cyberattacks become more prevalent. And Yahoo's email service has suffered some black eyes from security issues. When news was disclosed of the "Heartbleed" bug -- a severe security vulnerability that affected much of the web -- Yahoo, including properties like Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Sports, was one of the biggest sites to be majorly affected.

And in January, the company had to reset some users' passwords after an attempted hack on its email service, though Yahoo said the target of the attack was a third-party database, and not Yahoo's own servers.

 

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