Yahoo IDs officially up for grabs

People can start requesting forgotten Yahoo usernames as the company continues to clear out inactive users from its network.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam

Yahoo on Monday officially opened a request site for inactive usernames, so people can start claiming any IDs that have been inactive for more than a year.

The company said last month that it was doing some more cleaning on its siteby closing inactive accounts. In order to save IDs from extinction, users simply had to log in before Monday.

To request a name, users need to submit their top five choices to a wishlist page. Yahoo will let you know in mid-August which ID is available and will send you a link so you can claim the ID.

Watch this: Do you trust Yahoo to recycle your username and protect your data?

Yahoo also emphasized that it's taking security seriously. In a blog post, it outlined its approach to making the switch without mixing up access to personal information.

If a user decides to use the new e-mail address to communicate with a site that already has that e-mail on file, which Yahoo said is "a very small percentage of the accounts that we will be recycling," the online giant has a plan in place to help verify the account by adding a date-specific marker -- so a site like Facebook won't accidentally connect an e-mail ID's new owner to the old owner's account, for instance.

"We encourage anyone using e-mail to communicate with their users, especially for e-commerce and recovering their accounts, to adopt this measure to ensure the security of their users," the blog post reads.