The billions of people who had their sensitive information snatched from their Yahoo accounts between 2013 and 2016 due to data breaches are now eligible for two years of free credit-monitoring services and other potential restitution in a legal settlement valued at $117.5 million.
Potential victims can submit claims to Yahoodatabreachsettlement.com for a piece of the class-action settlement which resulted from what’s now being seen as a recurring problem in an increasingly digitally-driven world.
Yahoo, which is owned by Verizon, disclosed two data breaches that occurred in 2013 and 2014. The company began to disclose the extent of its security breakdown in 2016 amid an FBI investigation that eventually linked some of the hacking to Russia.
The revelations led to the resignation of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and the company reducing its selling price to Verizon by $350 million.
If customers received a notice about the data breaches or had a Yahoo account at any time between Jan. 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2016, they are eligible for two years of free credit monitoring services by AllClear ID or up to $358.
Free credit-monitoring services are offered to protect victims from identity theft and other potential problems. The service from AllClear usually costs $14.95 per month, or $359 for two years. People who already have a credit-monitoring service will be eligible for cash payments instead.
Additionally, if victims provide proof of out-of-pocket losses, including lost time, during the data breaches, they could receive reimbursement of up to $25,000.
People who had to spend time protecting their identities or dealing with other issues caused by the breach can seek to be paid at a rate of $25 per hour for up to 15 hours or unpaid time off work at their actual hourly rate, whichever is greater. If the lost time is not documented, they can receive payment for up to five hours at that same rate.
In order to receive credit-monitoring services or alternative compensation, claims must be filed by July 20, 2020.
Verizon pledged to continue to expand upon the security that it has already added since taking over Yahoo. The Verizon division that includes Yahoo expects to spend an average of about $81 million annually on security from 2018 to 2022, up from an average of about $15 million annually from 2013 to 2016 when Yahoo was still independent, according to court documents.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.