Is PayPal Safe? 16 Security Tips to Protect Yourself
With over 300 million active users, PayPal is by far the largest online payment system online. The services they offer and the user interface they have for their customers are incredibly convenient and easy to use. However, the biggest thing to check while choosing a payment system online is the security you’re getting. Furthermore, as PayPal is the biggest platform for money, it’s also become the target of frauds and hackers.
PayPal has a policy of keeping its customers safe from security breaches and other threats. It has a very strict guideline for its customers that you must follow not to get your account on PayPal limited or suspended. If you’re new to PayPal and wondering how you can keep your account safe and what to avoid, I’m here to help. Stick to the article to get through the things you must know for keeping your PayPal account and your money safe:
Top 16 security tips
While the security of your money on the wallet has the utmost priority, knowing the security measures is important. Here are 16 best tips you must know if you don’t want to get your account on PayPal limited and keep using it safely:
1. Don’t link PayPal to a bank account or debit card
You must add a card or an account for full features, like funding your account with your card. It’s also important if you don’t want to share your bank or card or bank account information while purchasing online. When you’re thinking about adding a card to your PayPal account, never add the bank account or a debit card. If your PayPal account gets compromised somehow, the hacker can easily empty your bank account through PayPal. If it goes unseen from your end, there is no way you can get the money back.
2. Link your PayPal account with a credit card
As you should never link your bank account or debit card to your PayPal account, the safest option is to add a credit card. Adding a credit card to your account will give you some extra layer of security and convenience as well. If your PayPal account gets compromised, you have a chance to claim the money back to your account. You can file a dispute as soon as you notice the account has unauthorized spendings or activities. You will have a lawful solidity on the claim according to the federal law for the transaction.
3. Don’t click on any email from PayPal
The most common way of getting scammed on PayPal is the phishing emails people get from PayPal. It may seem that the email is originally from PayPal, but it’s not real! You must know that PayPal won’t give you a link to the email to log in. However, if you do get such an email, you must not click on the link to log in; rather, log in regularly. Go to the official website of PayPal, log in as you always do, and check the notification center. If PayPal has something to say to you or something to update, they put it on the notification center.
4. Keep track of your balance regularly
You have to notice an unauthorized transaction on your account in the first place to determine you’re compromised! Scammers and thieves steal your money in series, starting with as small an amount as $5 or $10 that you may not notice. These odd and small changes in a big account will start to rise gradually if you don’t notice them early. If you don’t notice the first transaction, they will increase the amount to $20, $30, and gradually hundreds to thousands. The best way to prevent scams is to keep a sharp track of your money account and notice if there are any changes, even in cents.
5. Buy goods from a verified merchant
When you’re buying something, be sure the merchant is verified from PayPal so that you can rely on their honesty. The verification on the account may not ensure that the seller is honest, but it’s a sign of the seller’s legitimacy. Anybody with an email address can open an account on PayPal and do business or sell items. When a business verifies themselves, that means they either have a bank account connected or SSN to the account.
6. Never make any unallowed transactions
Never do any unallowed transactions such as buying or selling illegal items like guns, drugs, or making unauthorized donation pulls. Violating any of PayPal’s accepted user policies will limit your account, which can be permanent. Avoid making transactions that PayPal doesn’t allow you to do that will also include paying by sending money to friends and family. One thing to keep in mind is that if you sell items using PayPal as your payment method, keep a record of all the sales and shipments. It will help you verify that you are not selling any banned or illegal item, or not making any fraud works with your customers.
7. Make sure your buyer has no surprise
PayPal covers the buyer’s payment protection when they don’t receive the item as described. If you’re a seller on PayPal, you must make sure your customer doesn’t get surprised after getting the delivery. Deliver the product as you’ve described it on the selling page where the customers order it. Don’t make the shipment to the wrong address, and be sure you send a follow-up note on shipping the item. If the customers don’t get the product as expected, they will file disputes and claim the money. You can track your shipping to a confirmed address after you send the product.
8. Don’t misuse the Friends and Family option
PayPal has a great user-friendly option to transfer money between friends and family without any hassle. If you have to transfer some money to your friend’s PayPal account, PayPal doesn’t charge you for that. Maybe you’re splitting the bills of the party you had last night or doing a favor to your family member. PayPal keeps it simple, charges you nothing, and they don’t put any waiting time for the transaction. However, PayPal also doesn’t cover any protection for these transactions because you’re not doing business. Some fraudsters misuse the feature and ask you to pay them with this option. Never pay for goods with this option because you may get scammed.
9. Use the PayPal invoice feature
If you are paying a personal PayPal account for a good or service, and the seller asks you to pay with F&F to avoid the charges, don’t. Rather, you should ask the seller to send you an invoice using the PayPal invoice feature. PayPal allows any personal account to make invoices and take payment for goods or services. Ask your seller to make an invoice and pay him with that; it will provide you the buyer’s protection and seller’s protection. If the seller doesn’t send you the good as described or doesn’t send it at all, you can file a dispute using the invoice.
10. Ship only to a confirmed address and track it
If you’re a seller and use PayPal as your business transaction solution, you’re at a higher risk of getting scammed. One of the most common ways the fraud customers use is a fake shipping address for good. In some cases, hackers take over the customer’s account and want you to ship the pending item to a new address. Never fall for sweet talks, stick to the rules PayPal puts on the matter. Don’t send the goods to the address written on the email body either; it’s not the shipment address.
11. Keep a record of all the sales and shipments
As a seller on PayPal, you must keep a record of all your shipments and the sales and keep it transparent. It will help you in several ways, especially when it’s time to file a tax return for your business at the end of the year. If you get into trouble with a shipment or a customer claims a false dispute, you can claim it back with the records. If you cannot prove the legitimacy of the transaction, PayPal will go in favor of the customer and pay the dispute from your account. The record also helps you control the business better and makes it possible to track your growth.
12. Take security measures for your account
Keeping your account secure from hackers is the foremost important thing after creating the account in the first place. Never login to your PayPal account from a public computer or a cybercafe, nor should you use public wifi. Create a strong password for your PayPal account that has lower case, uppercase, and special characters in it. Never share the password with anybody online or store it on your online drive. Don’t note your password on your phone or PC in plain text that anybody can read. Change your password from time to time and make sure the password doesn’t have any clue in your name, email address, or business name. Beware of the fake, phishing PayPal websites that you may come across from your emails.
13. Beware of IP changes while traveling
If you’re traveling abroad, your phone or computer will browse the internet with a different IP address than usual. As you’re using PayPal from your local IP address, it tracks your movement if you have a bounce in your IP tracking. If PayPal detects any IP bounce, they may restrict your account or limit it from using. To keep using your PayPal account while traveling overseas, be sure to set up a travel plan from your account.
14. Set up a travel plane
Log in to your PayPal account, navigate to the top right corner, click on the gear icon, and enter your profile section. Go to the Security tab, and you will see some features, Travel planes option is on the right column. Click on Add, and put in the information about the travel and how long you want to use this account. PayPal will make a temporary exception for you and keep your account safe while you’re traveling.
15. Know about the common PayPal scams
Different types of PayPal scams come up occasionally and put the legit users in security issues. You must be aware of these scams, and Freudians to keep your account safe and money. Never click on any suspicious links that require you to log into PayPal account, and don’t fall for lucrative offers. If a deal seems to be too good to be true, you must avoid it promptly and never agree to a deal that violates the PayPal user policy. Prepare the account with the two-factor authentication feature to add an extra layer of security to your PayPal account. Get familiar with the platform you’re using as your business partner, such as eBay, that uses PayPal integration.
16. Use the right applications to keep it secure
Using reliable applications and safe integrations can help you keep out of scammers, especially if you’re new to PayPal. New PayPal users tend to be confused between tons of scams around the web. Use a reliable, paid, and reputed anti-phishing software to avoid scams and never disclose any login credential of your PayPal account. One of the best ways to avoid phishing emails is to use Gmail as your primary email address for the account. Google has a special security feature, especially for emails from PayPal to protect PayPal users from phishing emails.
After opening your PayPal account, you can use the account without adding any card or bank account to a certain extent. You can send, receive, and request money without adding a bank account or cards to your PayPal account. So, don’t add the bank account or the debit card; rather, use the credit card. The credit card issuer will have your money back within 60 days, where PayPal will take 180 days in the process.
Be warned! PayPal will never send you a link to your email address with the recommendation of logging into your account. Hackers use some email spoofing tools to generate a fake email for you with Paypal’s official email address, and they put a phishing link in it. Avoid all these mistakes if you’re aware of staying out of getting your account on PayPal limited or banned.