Verizon, which bought Yahoo in 2017, announced the move in an update and the existing users will need to get a Pro account, which costs $34.99 per year, or $3.49 a month.
“Beginning January 1, 2021, automatic forwarding of emails from your Yahoo inbox to a third party email account will no longer be a feature of free Yahoo Mail accounts,” the company informed.
“Upgrade to Yahoo Mail Pro or subscribe to Access + Forwarding to use the auto forwarding feature at this time”.
According to a report in ZDNet, automatic email forwarding is often abused.
“Hackers who breach email accounts often add their own email address as an automatic email forwarding rule to receive carbon copies of all messages a victim receives,” the report mentioned.
If your free Yahoo Mail account is set up to automatically forward emails to a third party inbox such as Gmail, those emails will stop being delivered to the third party address on January 1, 2021.
“You’ll still be able to view your emails in your Yahoo mailbox through your web browser at mail.yahoo.com or via the Yahoo Mail apps. Yahoo Mail Pro subscribers will not be affected by this change,” the company said.
Verizon said it regularly evaluates its products and services against current security standards and have decided to remove this feature to help ensure free Yahoo Mail accounts remain secure.
“The change will help us focus on building the best new features and experiences for our Yahoo Mail users”.
Facing a steady decline in usage over the last several years, Yahoo last month announced to shut down Yahoo Groups from December 15.
The Yahoo Groups service was launched in 2001 and could not complete against new platforms like Reddit, Google Groups and Facebook Groups.
The US wireless communications service provider Verizon bought Yahoo’s tottering internet business for a mere $4.8 billion in 2017.