Online banking and payment apps have made everyday transactions immeasurably easier. But it’s important not to prioritize ease over security.
With PayPal, you can buy and sell goods or transfer money to friends and family all from your personal computer or mobile device. For a lot of online users, using the app has become a typical part of the day.
This potential new part of your daily routine, however, is connected to sensitive financial information — meaning there are precautions you may want to consider to increase the security of the experience. Below, read some of our tips on how to bolster your Paypal security.
Create A Unique Password
As always, creating a unique password is the vital first step to securing any online presence. While using one password across multiple sites is easier, it can leave you particularly vulnerable. If someone trying to gain access to your sensitive information figures out your password on any one of those sites, they can then access your other accounts. Especially with an app like PayPal that is connected to bank information, it’s important to create a strong password that you don’t reuse for any other accounts.
Use PayPal Security Key
After creating a unique password, you can take advantage of a second layer of security PayPal provides. This is called the PayPal Security Key, which is a form of two-step verification. With the Security Key enabled, Paypal will create a step after you enter your password when logging into your account. It will have you click to send a code to your mobile device. One you receive the code via SMS, you type in the key and then proceed to the next page. This again creates an extra barrier to someone gaining access to sensitive financial information: even if they have your password, they can’t get through the second layer of security without access to your mobile phone.
Control Access To Your Cell Phone
With cell phone-related security comes the need for other security precautions. For safety, PayPal recommends limiting direct access to your actual phone. If you have a PayPal app or an enabled Security Key, an unattended phone in the wrong hands could give a stranger control over monetary transactions in an instant.
Keep An Eye On Email Confirmations
PayPal’s email system is an easy way to keep track of any suspicious transactions. Anytime you spend or receive payment on PayPal, the company can email you for confirmation.
Pay attention to emails you receive. If you get a confirmation for an interaction that doesn’t look right, you can contact the company and have the situation investigated.
Financial applications are at high risk for malware. With the right maneuvers, hackers can gain access to your sensitive bank information and initiate unapproved transactions. To best protect yourself against malware, PayPal recommends maintaining up-to-date software. Companies often release updates to fix discovered bugs that could make you susceptible to viruses. If you’re not taking advantage of these updates, you can leave yourself needlessly open to cyber intruders.
[Prefer Venmo to PayPal? Read our Venmo security suggestions here.]
Internet users are flocking to PayPal and similar apps to increase convenience of daily transactions. As more economic interactions head online, it can be helpful to check in to make sure you are taking advantage of available safety precautions. Risk is inevitable when relaying sensitive financial or personal information. But a few quick adjustments can at least help you take advantage of what additional security layers are offered.