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Security & privacy

It’s the last day to get your cut of Yahoo’s $117.5M data breach settlement

Updated July 2020 – The deadline to file a claim for your portion of Yahoo’s data breach settlement is fast approaching. You have until July 20, 2020, to file your claim. We’ve added a section at the end of this original article with instructions on how to file.

Remember that insane data breach at Yahoo a few years ago? Three billion accounts were compromised over a three-year period, making this breach one of the largest in history. Worst of all, Yahoo itself made no effort to disclose any information about the breach to its users.

Meanwhile, personal information like usernames and passwords may have been obtained and exploited by hackers. Many people experienced identity theft and unnecessary costs to their small businesses or personal finances.

With so many people affected by this massive breach, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Yahoo and parent company Verizon. In a hearing, a financial settlement was agreed upon by both parties and received final approval from a district judge.

Nearly everyone affected by the breach will be able to make a claim, but how much are victims really entitled to at the end of the day? I’ll show you what the numbers look like.

3 billion Yahoo accounts compromised

Just like what happens sometimes in politics, it was the cover-up that got Yahoo in trouble. The company officially claimed only 1 billion accounts were compromised — but only after three years had passed without victims being informed. Yahoo continued to revise its story until the real number of victims skyrocketed to 3 billion: triple what it had initially stated.

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Since then, one of the biggest class-action lawsuits in history has raged against Yahoo. When its new parent company, Verizon, took over the flailing enterprise, it inherited Yahoo’s legal troubles as well. With larger resources and a stronger reputation to uphold, it’s been active in negotiating a settlement with class-action lawyers that hope to see justice served for victims of the hack.

How Yahoo will payout to victims of massive data breach

After much deliberation and a previously rejected settlement deal, both Yahoo and the plaintiffs have agreed on a $117.5 million settlement. As the numbers stand, this is the single largest common fund ever obtained in any data breach case with the potential to have one of the largest payouts as well.

The agreed-upon settlement class would include all U.S. and Israeli residents who had Yahoo accounts between 2012-2016. That’s approximately 896 million accounts and 194 million individual users!

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The $117.5 million total would pay for credit monitoring for all affected parties with no cap on claimants. The settlement would also cover attorney fees, administrative costs and miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses. Most notably, Yahoo identified it would cover small business owner’s losses, subscription user fees and expenses related to lost time.

There aren’t full details yet as to specific collection amounts, as everyone’s expenses and losses will be different. The previous deal reached by Yahoo was rejected by the judge for not being generous enough to victims. This latest agreement, however, looks to be satisfactory to both parties.

How to file a claim for Yahoo’s data breach settlement

If you had a Yahoo account between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016, you are a “Settlement Class Member.” If so, you may have received a notice by email about this class-action settlement addressed to you.

Now, you have a couple options. You may make a claim for at least two years of free credit monitoring services meant to help shield you from possible criminal use of your personal info that was potentially compromised in the breaches.

Credit monitoring services will alert you if someone is illegally using your personal information and other valuable identity protection services.

If you can verify you already have credit monitoring or identity protection services that you will keep for at least 12 months, you may alternatively make a claim for $100. That amount could be less or go up to $360, depending on how many claims are submitted.

The easiest way to make a claim is to fill out the form online. Tap or click here for more details and to fill out the claim form.

There are more victims of this data breach than just general account holders. If you fall into one of the following categories there is a different claim for that you need to fill out:

  • Paid user
  • Small business user
  • Israeli citizen

For these claim forms, tap or click here. There is a dedicated page for all things related to the Yahoo data breach if you need more information; tap or click here to see that page.

Remember, time is running out to file your claim. You have until July 20, 2020. Another thing to keep in mind is the dollar amount claimants receive is unknown, it depends on just how many people file and take from the $117.5 million settlement.

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