PayPal is a convenient service that offers features most other banking services do not. It is a standard tool used for online auction transactions and also allows quick cash transfers between friends. Unlike other banking methods, PayPal sends money using nothing more than an email address. The widespread use of PayPal for Internet transactions is both a blessing and a curse: Although the service is virtually unrivaled in efficiency, PayPal accounts are often the targets of scams, frauds and hacking.
Activate the PayPal security key feature for your PayPal account. This will allow you to access your PayPal account only after you enter a numerical code that frequently changes. One option for the service is to have the code delivered by mobile phone text message every time you log in. Alternately, you may acquire security key cards from PayPal. These are the size of a credit card and contain a changing code on a digital readout. The codes from the text messages or the cards are randomly generated by PayPal, and the service has no monthly fees. However, the key card option involves a one-time $5 charge.
Read carefully all emails that refer to your PayPal account. "Phishing" is a malicious practice in which spammers attempt to get your login information by sending out emails that appear to be from PayPal. They direct users to fraudulent websites that resemble PayPal. Login information is gathered through these sites.
Change your PayPal password often. Use a unique password for PayPal that you don't use for any other website or email program. Combine letters, numbers and symbols to make your password difficult to guess.
Purchase a money-back guarantee from PayPal for some or all purchases made using your PayPal account. This guarantees you a refund for any transaction that does not proceed according to plan. As of January 2010, this program is available for purchases under $1,000. The cost of the guarantee varies and is automatically calculated at the time of checkout when you are using PayPal.
- Google's free Gmail email service offers an additional layer of security for PayPal users: All official correspondence from PayPal contains a domain key that identifies it as legitimate. A clear key icon appears next to the sender's name when the security of the email is confirmed.
- Never type your PayPal username and password into a website unless the domain of the site is clearly "paypal.com," no matter what the site looks like.
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