1. Safety Guides

Yahoo Messenger Safety Guide

Basics of the Messenger community

  • Individuals of all ages are welcome on Yahoo Messenger.
  • Everyone using Yahoo Messenger must follow the Yahoo Terms of Service.

You on Messenger

Yahoo ID: You can choose to use your Yahoo ID as your identity. It display when you communicate in Yahoo Messenger. If you choose to display a name instead of your Yahoo ID, the name is associated with your Yahoo Profile.

Yahoo alias: If you'd like to chat in Yahoo Messenger using one of your account's aliases instead of your Yahoo ID, enter your alias in the Yahoo ID field when you sign in to Yahoo Messenger and enter the account password for the Yahoo ID that you used to register. You can create a Yahoo alias in your Account settings.

What you should know

People can request to connect with you: Yahoo Messenger is a place to connect with your friends. Depending on your settings, people can request to add you as a contact or message you directly. By default, other people who use Messenger can request to add you to their contact list if they know your Yahoo ID. To adjust these settings, check out this video about using your ignore list.

You can reference conversation history: With Yahoo Messenger, you can save conversations with friends. By default, your Yahoo Messenger and Yahoo Mail IM conversations are saved in your conversation history. You can turn this setting on or off in Yahoo Mail 

  1. Sign in to Yahoo Mail.
  2. Sign in to Yahoo Messenger in Mail.
  3. Move your mouse over the gear icon in the upper right of the screen.
  4. Select Messenger Options.
  5. Under "Conversation History," check to enable (or uncheck to disable) Keep a history of my conversations.
  6.  Click OK.

Learn how to see your saved conversation history.

Messenger supports media: Files and photos can be shared in Yahoo Messenger. Be sure to use a computer with virus and malware protection software. Safety tip: Think before you open any link — even if you know the person. Check that the person contacting you is a trusted source.

Webcam, video, and voice calls: Yahoo Messenger lets friends use webcams to share videos of themselves, make video calls, and even place voice calls. Be sure to use these features only with trusted contacts. Think carefully about whom you want to communicate with and whom you'd like to ignore.  Learn more  about these services and how to use them. If you receive a request to view a webcam from someone you don't know, err on the side of caution, and do not accept the request.

Note: Emergency call services are not available through Yahoo Messenger's voice calling.

Messenger safety: best practices

Mind your online status: People you are connected to on Messenger can see your online status ("Available," "Not at My Desk," etc.). For additional privacy — or to avoid distractions during work — set your online status to "Invisible."

Shared computer access vs. private: If you use Yahoo Messenger on a shared computer, do not check "Remember my ID and password" during sign-in, and be sure to sign out when you are finished. Taking these steps will ensure the next person will not have access to your past conversations.

Stealth settings: These settings let you appear online to some people and offline to others, which can be helpful if you just want to have access to Messenger but do not want to appear online. Learn more about enabling stealth settings.

Remove unwanted contacts: Yahoo Messenger lets you interact with whom you want. If you want to delete a contact: 

  1. Right-click the person's name and select Delete.
  2. Click Yes.

Remember: Before you delete a contact, make note of the Yahoo ID if you also want to add the person to your ignore list.

Report abuse: Yahoo takes matters of abuse seriously. If you receive spam[Y2] , be sure to report it by using the Report Spam button. This action immediately adds the person to your ignore list. For other abuse concerns involving conversations, follow this abuse reporting process:

  1. Choose Help | Report Abuse. A browser will open.
  2. Sign in with your Yahoo ID and password (if prompted). This will take you to a form.
  3.  Fill out the form to the best of your ability, and submit it.

Important: Please ensure that you have message archiving enabled. Enabling your conversation history is crucial; to take appropriate action, Yahoo support staff will need to reference a full transcript of the conversation.

For more information about Yahoo Messenger, visit Yahoo Help.