Is PayPal Safe? 5 Tips You Cannot Afford to Ignore for More PayPal Safety

is-paypal-safe
Is PayPal safe to send and receive payments online? In today’s vulnerable world, safety is everything. Making your PayPal safe means that you are adding security level to your bank account.
According to Wikipedia, PayPal was developed and launched as a money transfer service at Confinity in 1999, funded by John Malloy from BlueRun Ventures. As of 2017, PayPal operates in 202 markets and has 218 million active, registered accounts. PayPal allows customers to send, receive and hold funds in 25 currencies worldwide.
PayPal is also way ahead than other online payment companies. The following graph explains the situation well.
payment-usage-comparison

 

However, for PayPal, being the world’s top online payment system poses threats too. The bitter fact is that it’s also the hot favorite target of scammers and thieves.

“The brand name is often taken advantage of by phishers,” says John Breyault, vice president of public policy, telecommunications and fraud at the National Consumers League.

The most common method used by scammers is phishing. Phishing is the practice of using fraud and/or malicious software to obtain customers’ usernames and passwords in order to gain access to their accounts. The question arises naturally in mind, “Is PayPal safe?”

The answer is YES. if you use PayPal, you can easily enhance your security level by following these 5 simple and easy steps:

1. Never Click on Links From ‘Paypal’ Email

No matter how official the email you get from Paypal looks, never click on any of the links in the email.  Instead of clicking on the links, open up a browser window, and type in paypal.com to go directly to their site from your browser. As a rule of thumb, only log into the Paypal site if you type in the address into the address bar of the browser yourself.
If you get an email that seems official, but looks suspicious, then forward the email to spoof(at)paypal.com where they will be able to tell you if it was a valid email from them or not.
To avoid confusion, Paypal will usually never send you an email telling you to log into their site from a link in their email.

2. Check If the Email is Legitimate

If you get an email from Paypal telling you that your account has closed or some other urgent matter, there are things you can look at that will give you a good idea if the email is legitimate or not.
The way to do this is to select the menu selection in your mail program that allows you to look at the source code for the email.
Locate the link (just search the page for the link text that sends you to Paypal of the link and you should find the link).
The link should look something like the following:
< a href=’http: // {urladdress}’> {link text you just searched for}< / a >
Here is an example format of a spoofed link;
http:// ipox.xx.com.my/xxxxxx/paypal.com/xxxxx
Notice that the domain name is actually ‘ipox.xx.com.my’. You can see a paypal.com in the line, but that is actually the name of a directory in ‘ipox.xx.com.my’.
If you click this link, the browser will take you to ‘ipox.xx.com.my’, a very official looking Paypal page but infact having no association with Paypal. Users see a paypal.com in the URL and so they consider that they are at Paypal site, and they see the Paypal login page, but they couldn’t be more wrong!
Following is another example of such phishing email … watch carefully the spots you can identify for such mail.
is-paypal-safe
These poor unsuspecting users will type in their username and password and will get a message such as a site is down for maintenance or some other fake message about why they can’t see their account information.  At this point, it is too late.  They have given a phisher (scammer) their real username and password.

3. Watch Carefully That What Do Spam Messages Look Like?

These phishing (scamming) messages come in many forms.
One form is the typical ‘Your account is going to be deleted if you don’t log in right away’.
Another message looks something like, ‘We have seen unusual activity on your account and it has been suspended’. Yet another message, and this style seem to be newer, is “Receipt of your payment to SOMECOMPANYNAME”.
If you will notice that all of these messages get to the heart of human behavioral responses and put us immediately into an emotional state where we are less likely to use our intellect and just immediately react to the message.
If we imprint tip #1 into our brains, which is never click on any of the links in an email that looks like it comes from Paypal, we can help to overcome this reaction whenever these or other messages appear.

4. Check Your Account Frequently

This is a small step but it is the best one to make your PayPal safe.

Typically, thieves begin draining an account with small withdrawals — as little as $5 — that a user might not notice. Then it started happening more frequently and the amount, too, spiral to hundreds.

The solution is simple. Check your account frequently and if found any kind of mistreatment, no matter how small it seems, immediately contact to PayPal to sort out the issue.

5. How to Make PayPal Safe If You Entered Your Information into One of These Phishing Sites

If you got caught up in the emotion and entered your Paypal information before you realized it was a fake scam site, you should immediately go to Paypal.com,  log in and change your password.
You should also monitor your account for any unauthorized activity.  Should you see any activity, immediately fill out the ‘unauthorized activity form’ found in the ‘Protection Policies’ section of the help center on the website.
If you are really feeling vulnerable, call the support desk and immediately report the incident to a support specialist.

Bonus Tips

  • Never use public wifi to access your PayPal account.
  • Read PayPal’s policies to ensure that Buyer Protection is available for any transaction you’re concerned about.
  • Don’t use direct bank transfer or debit cards for sending and receiving payments through PayPal. Use your credit card instead.
  • Keep your software up-to-date – especially security software.
  • PayPal’s Buyer Protection Program might reimburse you in case of fraud provided that you report them quickly.

 

Final Words

Being online means being open to frauds and scams.
Safety and security is everything in such environment.
We can make our online Paypal transactions safer by using the tips listed.  While there are certainly many exceptions, many of these online fraud situations occur from mistakes on the part of the user, and not the payment processing company, or merchant.
Online safety 101 should be a mandatory class for anyone entering the Internet world today, however using a good dose of common sense will take you quite far.
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