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Yahoo’s Data Breach Settlement

Data breaches are never fun, but this one COULD get you paid thanks to Yahoo…that is…if the settlement is approved by California courts. Yahoo could divvy up more than $117.5 million among users whose names, email addresses and passwords were stolen.

Eligible users can submit claims at Yahoodatabreachsettlement.com to receive at least two years of free credit monitoring services by AllClear ID.

If consumers can verify that they already use a credit monitoring service that they’ll keep for at least a year, they can submit a claim for $100 instead. The true amount may be more than that — up to $358 — but it will likely be less, depending on how many people submit claims. “As to documented lost time, you can receive payment for up to fifteen hours of time at an hourly rate of $25.00 per hour or unpaid time off work at your actual hourly rate, whichever is greater. If your lost time is not documented, you can receive payment for up to five hours at that same rate,” the settlement site reads.

Based on past class action settlements, the payout is expected to be far less than initially announced. In July when the Equifax settlement was announced and the website to submit claims launched, consumers were told they could receive free credit monitoring for 10 years or up to $125. According to the Federal Trade Commission, because the response to the settlement “has been overwhelming,” consumers will get “nowhere near the $125 they could have gotten if there hadn’t been such an enormous number of claims filed.”

In 2016, Yahoo disclosed two massive data breaches: One in 2013, when an unauthorized third party stole user data, and another in 2014, the work of a “state-sponsored actor,” the company said.

Sensitive financial data like bank account numbers and credit card information weren’t believed to be stolen in the attack, but emails and passwords were.

Users were urged to immediately change their passwords and security questions — key steps in protecting online accounts from similar attacks.

The settlement is for people who had a Yahoo account between Jan. 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2016. Those accounts include traditional email, Yahoo Fantasy Sports, Yahoo Finance, Tumblr and Flickr.

The approval process could take more than a year. California courts will hear two cases to approve the settlement, with the final fairness hearing in April 2020, and no payments will be made until then.

All claim forms must be filed online or mailed no later than July 20, 2020.

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