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Telecom sticks with Yahoo email despite hack

Friday 5 Apr 2013 12:15 p.m.

More than 600 million people use Yahoo email worldwide

More than 600 million people use Yahoo email worldwide

Telecom has decided to keep Yahoo! on as its email provider, despite a high-profile hacking attack earlier this year.

In February, thousands of Telecom customers were hit with spam emails, in an attack described by Netsafe as the biggest of its kind to ever happen in New Zealand.

Following a review of the business relationship, Telecom announced today they would be sticking with Yahoo.

"What came through loud and clear was that customers put a lot of value on the Yahoo Xtra email service and rate it very highly," Telecom retail CEO Chris Quin said in a statement.

"Many have used an Xtra address for a number of years and see it as an important part of their online identity. We looked seriously at whether we should continue offering an email service at all, and the overwhelming feedback from our customers was that we should."

Since the attack, more than 200,000 customers have changed their passwords out of a total customer base of 450,000.

"All email providers are engaged in a continuous battle against online crime and spam," said Mr Quin.

"Yahoo, as one of the biggest global providers of email, is at the frontline of this battle - they alone block more than 600 billion spam messages a month. 

"They’ve made it clear to us how seriously they take the overall security of their systems and our customers' data."

Telecom and Yahoo say they have developed simpler processes for alerting customers to spam and phishing attacks, including making it easier to change passwords and other security settings.

"While the reality of today’s online world means that future security incidents cannot be entirely avoided, we will continue to take constant steps towards mitigating risks and improving the experience of our customers," said Mr Quin.

"Our review is not the end of this chapter. We’ll continue to work closely with Yahoo! to monitor issues, and ensure that any potential risks are mitigated so that we can deliver the best overall experience for our customers."

Many new customers already have an existing email address, and Mr Quin said it wasn't mandatory to adopt a Yahoo address when switching to Telecom.

"This is particularly common amongst new customers, who usually come to us with an existing email account. While a Yahoo Xtra account is available to all of our Broadband customers if they see value in it, it is by no means mandatory for them to take it up."

Telecom came to its decision after consulting not only Yahoo, but other major telcos that rely on Yahoo's email service.

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