Posted Apr 29th 2006 7:16PM by Joe Beaulaurier One of the saddest things we see on Yahoo! Groups or on Yahoo! Answers and even in the comments here, is "Someone stole my Yahoo! account and I can't get Yahoo! to give it back to me." The pain of losing the email account that everyone knows to reach you at or that contains old personal emails is often devastating. One of the reasons why having a Yahoo! ID is so nice is the same reason why you need to be careful not to lose it - it gives you access to so much. What of all the photos uploaded into Yahoo! Photos? Or the time spent setting up and blogging to your Yahoo! 360° pages? What would you do if your ID/Password stopped working? First, be sure you're typing the correct ID and password. Is CAPS LOCK on? That's the most common culprit. Are you misspelling something? Slow down and type carefully. Did you recently change your own password? That's hung up more than one person with a short memory. Secondly, have you recently been asked to provide your Y! ID and password (there's many programs out there that enable you to access Yahoo! services through them and they will ask for your ID/password). If so, that raises the possibility you unexpectedly gave away access to your account. Typically when this happens whoever has access will quickly change the password to keep you out. Third, if you've reached this point you're obviously hopelessly stranded outside your account. The next step is to see if you can get the password reset. This is the process provided for recovering* your ID and/or password by confirming your private information. This is the personal information you provided to Yahoo! when setting up your account. Provide your birthday, zip (or postal) code, and country (or territory). Then you can ask for a new password or to be reminded what your Y! ID is. The new password will be sent to your alternate email (still valid?!) or, if you can answer the challenge question you set up during registration, will be displayed on the screen. Got your new password and have successfully logged in? Thank goodness! But before you go looking around for the damage from the impostor, you need to go to*change your password to something new and something you'll remember. If you suspect your account was broken into, be very sure the new password is not like the old one in any way. Be prepared for the unexpected. It is a good idea to review your Y! ID account information every few months in the event you're going to need it. Keep your zip/postal code up to date (Remember what it was when you opened your account in 1998?) and be sure you've accurately provided your birthday information. Will you know to answer the challenge question correctly? If not change it to one that you will. What about your alternate email address? When's the last time you accessed it? Has it gone dormant and no longer receives mail? Might need updating here too. Keep your account information up to date in case you need to prove you're the account owner because your driver's license, birth certificate or first-born are not going to help you. For additional tips, go to Yahoo!'s Account Security Help pages. In the awful event you're stuck and can't reclaim your account, be very careful not to fall prey to the abundent false claims of being able to recover your password if you send us your ID/password info for your past and current account along with $$s. They keep the dollars and take over your new account. They will take you from bad to worse. Don't be fooled.