Yahoo data breach: How to file for $358 or more as part of claim settlement

That email Yahoo sent you is legit. If you had a Yahoo account between 2012 and 2016, you could be eligible for a settlement claim as the result of a data hack.

Clifford Colby Managing Editor
Clifford is a managing editor at CNET, where he leads How-To coverage. He spent a handful of years at Peachpit Press, editing books on everything from the first iPhone to Python. He also worked at a handful of now-dead computer magazines, including MacWEEK and MacUser. Unrelated, he roots for the Oakland A's.
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If you had a Yahoo account any time between 2012 and 2016, you can now take part in a class action settlement to compensate you for losses. Over several years, hackers were able to gain access to Yahoo user accounts, and steal private emails, calendars and contacts in at least three separate attacks. 

The breaches ranged in scope from two in 2012 where Yahoo said no data was taken, to a 2013 breach where hackers were able to gain access to all of the more than 3 billion Yahoo accounts and steal names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, passwords and answers to security questions.

Yahoo said that if you had an account any time between Jan.1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2016, and are a resident of the US or Israel, you are part of the settlement class and can file a claim for part of the $117,500,000 settlement fund.

Read more: The best password managers for 2019 and how to use them

Watch this: What to do if your personal information is part of a data breach

Find out if you're part of the settlement?

Yahoo said if you had a Yahoo account between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2016, or were sent a notice about the data breaches in 2016 or 2017 and are a resident of the US or Israel, you are a member of the settlement. You can contact the settlement administrator if you want to confirm you can take part in the settlement. 

A qualifying Yahoo account includes ones with Yahoo Fantasy Sports, Yahoo Finance, Tumblr and Flickr .

How much money you should expect to get?

The settlement provides a range of benefits to compensate those whose data was compromised in a hack. You can submit claims for money and credit monitoring:

  • At least two years of credit monitoring services provided by AllClearID. The service includes identity theft monitoring, up to $1 million in theft insurance and identity recovery assistant.
  • A cash payment if you already have credit monitoring and protection services. Yahoo said the payment could range from less that $100  to a max of $358.80, depending on funds available after other benefit payouts.
  • Cash reimbursement up to $25,000 to cover out-of-pocket costs to address fraud and identity theft as a result of a breach. You can also file a claim to be compensated for up to 15 hours of your time spent recovering from a breach. 
  • A refund up to 25 percent of the amount you paid for a premium Yahoo account.
  • A refund up to 25 percent of the amount you paid for a Yahoo Small Business User email service, with a cap of $500 a year.

How to file a claim?

You can submit claims as a basic account holder, a paid user and a small business user. Israeli citizens must submit a separate claim form. The settlement website has separate forms for each type of claim.

When is the deadline for filing a claim?

You need to submit all claim forms -- either online or postmarked by mail -- by July 20, 2020.

The settlement is pending final court approval set for April 2, 2020. We'll update this story as we learn more. In the meantime, here's a running list the recent major data breaches and more on what to do if you are part of a data breach.