Yahoo! Messenger version 8 Account Information
When it comes to account information stored by Yahoo! and subsquently accessed by Yahoo! Messenger, the friends lists and address books, it can get quite confusing and extremely frustrating, especially if all your requests to add friends, or their requests to add you, are going out and / or being accepted with your "real name", in this article we are going to take a little time to explain just how this happens, why it happens and what you can do about it.
So what started all this confusion?
Bascially it all starts at the very beginning when you first sign-up for a Yahoo! ID, you complete all the required fields, two of which are First and Last Name, another is your Yahoo! ID... you then go about submitting your email address, validating it via a return email, then you start by logging into Yahoo! Messenger... very few people actually return to their online Yahoo! Account Information but it would save a lot of worry if they did because this, by default, is the information accessed.
Editing your Yahoo! Account Information is by far the most secure way of ensuring your First and Last Names are not revealed, if the information isn't readily available then it can't be accessed by default.
Editing your My Contact Details in Yahoo! Messenger is the next best thing, this retains your real First and Last Names for your Yahoo! Account, but the details are not accessible to others who you add, or who add you via Yahoo! Messenger.
Editing on a User by User basis is the least effective method for ensuring your privacy... it's only as secure and as you are vigilant. If you select to use this method, stay alert and remember that all requests you send out must be altered, as with incoming, if you wish to keep your default details confidential.
You can follow the detailed instructions below for which method best suits your situation / circumstances...
The once and for all method using
My Account Info (Yahoo! Account Information)...
By default, Yahoo! uses and accesses the First and Last Name fields completed when you signed up for your Yahoo! ID, these details are stored in your Yahoo! Account Information, if you'd like to completely kill off all references to your First and Last Name then you can edit your Yahoo! Account Information, simply head to http://edit.yahoo.com/config/eval_profile
or use any link to My Account (often visible in red text) at the top of Yahoo! Pages
or directly from within Yahoo! Messenger via Messenger > My Account Information, which will open Yahoo! Account Information in your browser window.
1.Ignore the first instance of your Names, scroll down the page until you see Address / Contact Information, click Edit...
2. now at the top of the page should be Your Name, edit both fields
3. hit Finished, if prompted, then confirm your password, you will be redirected back to your Yahoo! Account Information page where you can see the changes, if you're happy with the results, click Finish again, then exit out of your browser and log back into Yahoo! Messenger.
Problem solved, now all your requests to add will contain the information you submitted in your Yahoo! Account.
Yahoo! Messenger only (My Contact Details)...
If you'd like to retain the default information (First and Last Name) you used at sign-up but don't wish this to be displayed via Yahoo! Messenger then all you need to do is alter your contact details in Yahoo! Messenger, to do so...
login to Yahoo! Messenger
click on Messenger
My Contact Details
at the top is Name:
there are 3 fields that you need to complete to stop Yahoo! Messenger accessing the default Details stored in your Yahoo! Account information, these are...
1. If you ONLY enter a Nickname (no First or Last Name) then your problem won't be resolved, Yahoo! will extract and use the First and Last Names from your Yahoo! Account Information and as such your First and Last Names will still be displayed.
2. If you enter a First Name and a Nickname but no Last Name then Yahoo! will extract and display the Last Name from your Yahoo! Account Information
3. If you enter a Last Name and a Nickname but no First Name then Yahoo! will extract and display your First Name from your Yahoo! Account Information
e.g. in my Yahoo! Account Information my details are as follows...
if I go to My Contact Details and only enter a First name
then all my requests to add and acceptances show up as first name bee...
first name obtained from My Contact Details
bee obtained from Last name in Yahoo! Account Information
If you wish to prevent your real First and Last names as stored in your Yahoo! Account Information, it's vital that you enter both First and Last name fields, if you fail to do so your default account information will be used.
Individual requests (User by User basis)..
It's possible to change the name displayed on a per user / request to add basis also, to do so when you're adding a friend...
from within Yahoo! Messenger click the Add a Contact icon or Contacts > Add a Contact
enter the persons Yahoo! ID or email address
directly beneath the Group selection you can see what name is going to be displayed with your Add request, if you wish to alter this hit the Change button...
Enter a First Name, the one you want displayed on their friends list, remove any Last name showing, then click OK
check that it's stored correctly, hit Next, the invite is sent.
|Contacts > Add a Contact
Requests to Add from other people must be handled the same way outlined above, remember if you haven't altered your Yahoo! Account Information, their request will use those details by default, if you have altered your My Contact Details though (different to Yahoo! Account Information), then it will use your My Contact Details instead. If you are in any way concerned about what details are being shown then always double check each and every add request... the first is the initial Add Request, hit Next then watch for the second...
and change the details as per sending a request.
A final quirk....
If no matter what you do your account information, be it Yahoo! Account Info or My Contact Details Info is still being submitted to someone you want to add to your friends list and / or it makes no difference what details you change your name to via the Add Request (as shown in the screenshot above) then there is two possible causes....
1. you altered your Yahoo! Account Info while still logged into Yahoo! Messenger.
To correct this log out of Yahoo! Messenger, check your Yahoo! Account Information, Finish and exit the session in your browser, now log back into Yahoo! Messenger
2. You are already stored in your friends address book and the add request is still using your previous details.
To correct this your friend will need to remove your Yahoo! ID from their address book before they can re-add you using your new display name.
Even if they haven't added you to their friends list, your details are still stored in their Address book.
To completely remove all references to a person you must delete them from your address book also, not just off your Yahoo! Messenger friends list. The most effective way of doing this to check the box beside "Delete from Address Book, too" when you are deleting a user off your Friends List.