Yahoo data breach settlement means affected users may get $100

If you had a Yahoo account between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016, you may be entitled to a bit of money.

Video: 3 billion reasons to change your passwords Yahoo's parent company Oath revealed recently that 3 billion user accounts were exposed in the 2013 hack. TechRepublic's Brandon Vigliarolo explains what you should do now to stay secure.

On Wednesday, Yahoo emailed out to their users saying they were nearing a $117.5 million settlement that would end a massive class-action lawsuit related to a devastating series of data breaches and intrusions from 2012 to 2016.

In 2017, Yahoo admitted that all 3 billion of their user accounts were broken into in August 2013. In their email on Wednesday, Yahoo also says the company was hacked to varying degrees in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Yahoo is now offering two free years of credit-monitoring services to those with accounts that were affected by any of the breaches. If you already have a credit-monitoring service, you can ask Yahoo to give you $100. 

Unfortunately, the $117.5 million settlement is a set amount so how much money you get depends on how many people opt for the money instead of the credit-monitoring service. Yahoo admitted, on the claim website and not in the email, that what users get monetarily "may be less than $100 or more (up to $358.80) depending on how many Settlement Class Members participate in the settlement."

SEE: Password managers: How and why to use them (free PDF) (TechRepublic Premium)

"The Settlement Fund will provide: a minimum of two years of Credit Monitoring Services to protect Settlement Class Members from future harm, or Alternative Compensation instead of credit monitoring for Class Members who already have Credit Monitoring Services (subject to verification and documentation)," Yahoo said in the statement.

They also agreed to cover any out-of-pocket costs that Yahoo users may have incurred due to the data breaches as well as attorneys' fees, costs, and expenses. If you had a Yahoo premium account or used small business services, you are entitled to some reimbursement, Yahoo added.

To get your money or free credit-monitoring services, go to the website set up specifically for this settlement and look through your options. You have to file your claim before July 2020 but if you still want to sue Yahoo separately, you cannot participate in the settlement. 

Users and Yahoo will officially find out whether the settlement has been approved when the company appears in a San Jose court on April 2, 2020.

When you dig a bit deeper into the claim website, Yahoo says anyone who can prove they suffered from the hacks can file claims for up to $25,000. This is for anyone who may have had their identity stolen or been forced to address other problems related to your information being released.  

Yahoo has struggled to rebound from the devastating series of hacks. They sold their core internet assets to Verizon for $4.48 billion in 2017. 

The data breaches almost scuttled the deal entirely, but Yahoo agreed to lower their price by $350 million and pay half of any legal costs incurred from the hacks.

With all of Yahoo's data breaches, cybercriminals gained access to millions of email accounts, calendars, contacts, telephone numbers, birthdays, passwords, and security questions and answers.

Also see


How to become a cybersecurity pro: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
Mastermind con man behind Catch Me If You Can talks cybersecurity (TechRepublic download)
Windows 10 security: A guide for business leaders (TechRepublic Premium)
Online security 101: Tips for protecting your privacy from hackers and spies (ZDNet)
The best password managers of 2019 (CNET)
Cybersecurity and cyberwar: More must-read coverage (TechRepublic on Flipboard)

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