PayPal Security and Fraud Protection Guide

by on June 21st, 2010

secure paypal techmynd

It all starts from your own PC. Whether you want to buy or sell anything online, make sure your PC is clean from viruses, spywares, trojans and malwares. Make sure the software in your PC are up to date. Make sure you are using latest OS. Make sure Antivirus in your PC is up to date. Make sure you have Firewall installed. For PayPal users, essential and critical security measures you might have missed are given below to help you protect online when you shop using your PayPal account.

Update Your Web Browser

Safer web browsers make it easier to spot fake webpages that try to get you to enter personal information and steal your account. Use latest Firefox, Internet Explorer 7 or above or Safari browser. These are recommended by PayPal. Browsers like Microsoft IE7 and FireFox 3 have Anti-Phishing Filters, which you should turn on to avoid fake (spoof) websites.

Browser Colors and Protection

browser security alerts colors

Know more about Internet Explorer 7 addressbar colors. Internet explorer alerts you about websites if it needs to.

Red address bar color with ‘Phishing Website’ warning means that stop browsing that page, and don’t enter any personal information.

Red with ‘Certificate Error’ warning means that the webpage’s credentials do not match, or are invalid, and a problem exists with the encryption certificate. You should disconnect from site and never enter personal information there.

White color or White color with a lock indication means that page is not supposed to ask personal information.

Yellow color with ‘Suspicious Website’ warning – Based on IE7 phishing filters, this webpage may be fraudulent. Disconnect from there immediately and report that page.

* Green color * – The webpage’s credentials – including ownership, country of origin, and certification authority – have been confirmed. The communication is encrypted.

PayPal Pages asking for sensitive information (passwords or bank and credit card account numbers) will display four elements. Make sure you see all four before entering personal information:

1. Green address bar
2. Lock icon
3. PayPal name
4. VeriSign name

VeriSign issued PayPal’s Extended Validation SSL certificate.

[ more about browser colors ]

Use PayPal Email Verification Tool

Verify Email Address. PayPal with Iconix brings you Iconix eMail ID, which can reduce phishing by confirming whether or not an email is really from PayPal. It’s free. Download the tool – it works with most major email services. When you get an authentic email from PayPal, you’ll see an Iconix eMail ID icon: a gold lock with a check mark.

Download Iconix eMailID

[ PayPal Security Tools ]

Spot Phishing – Help
  • Phishing is a form of fraud designed specifically to steal your identity.
  • You can not be sure that an email is valid based on the sender’s email address.
  • PayPal will never ask you for your full name and password in a PayPal email.
  • A PayPal email will never contain attachments or software.
  • Never click on a link in an email to get to your PayPal account.
Get a PayPal Security Key

Get an extra layer of protection with the PayPal Security Key – it’s easy to use and portable, so you can access your account with confidence from just about anywhere. The new PayPal Security Key is available in the US, Germany, and Australia. It works by generating a unique six-digit security code about every 30 seconds. You enter the code when you log in to your PayPal or eBay account and then the code expires so no one else can use it. The PayPal Security Key creates random temporary security codes that help safeguard your PayPal account when you log in.

Get a security key
Activate your security key

Use PayPal Plugin

The PayPal Plug-In lets you shop anywhere online while helping protect you against fraud and identity theft. It allows you to pay with PayPal even if a store doesn’t currently offer PayPal at checkout.

Download the PayPal Plug-In

Protect Your Identity and PC
  • Create complex passwords that contain number, symbols and lower and uppercase letters.
  • Change your password often.
  • Logon to your account often to make sure there is not any unusual activity.
  • Install an Antivirus and Firewall in PC.
  • Keep system up to date by installing new security patches.
  • Download protection tools from PayPal.
Preventing Identity Theft
  • Guard your information, online and offline. To protect yourself, consider shredding documents containing your personal information, such as account statements, locking your mailbox, and emptying your wallet of anything you don’t absolutely have to carry.
  • Don’t respond to email or phone calls asking for your account information.
  • Avoid responding to phishing emails, spoof websites and fake phone calls which ask sensitive information from you.
  • Stay alert, act quickly and monitor your accounts frequently.
What if Something Goes Wrong

In case anything goes wrong or you notice anything suspicious, follow these:

Phishing/scam email

Have you received a fraudulent email? Send it to [email protected]

Unauthorized use of your account

PayPal provides 100% protection against unauthorized payments sent from your account. If you notice any charge on your PayPal account that you did not authorize, go to PayPal Dispute Resolution.

Problem with your purchase?

Still haven’t received your item? Or is the item significantly different than described? Report it through PayPal Dispute Resolution.

Forgotten password

Have you forgotten your PayPal password? Get help with Forgot Your Password.

Other transaction issues

For all other issues, go to the PayPal Customer Service Center.

Report a Problem – Alert PayPal to suspected fraud

File a transaction dispute
Start an unauthorized transaction claim
Report fake (phishing) email
Report fake (spoof) websites

Useful Resources

Download E-Commerce Safety Guide from PayPal
Download Identity Protection Checklist (PDF)
Tips to Sell Securely
Federal Trade Commission
On Guard Online
Better Business Bureau Online
Anti-Phishing Working Group
PayPal Security Center