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How Safe Is PayPal for Sellers & Buyers? 4 Tips to Stay Safe

Long before crypto, Skrill, Neteller, Apple Pay, and Google Pay existed, there was PayPal. The payment method was founded in 1998, initially referred to as Confinity, as a way to facilitate simple and efficient transactions. Now, it has over 300 million active users and handles millions in payments daily, making it an e-commerce giant with an even brighter future.

Since both businesses and individuals continue to use PayPal, it’s easy to assume it’s safe, right? Well, the truth is that being a large payment company, it’s an enticing target for scammers trying to steal people’s money. In fact, there have been instances where PayPal users experienced security threats such as phishing and identity fraud.

Don’t get it wrong, PayPal has various measures in place to ensure safety for both buyers and sellers when making online payments. These include using data encryption technology, providing 2-factor authentication, and verifying every user’s account. But even with all these safety mechanisms in place, you still need to take some extra measures to protect your funds and personal information.

  • Enable 2-Factor Authentication (2FA)

2-factor authentication is an optional security measure used by PayPal to add a second layer of protection when logging in to your account. It works by asking for two out of three forms of identity verification, so you can choose from a password, a one-time code sent via SMS, or a fingerprint. By adding the second verification step using 2FA, you get an extra layer of protection in case someone accesses your password.

Thankfully, the process of setting up 2FA verification using PayPal is easy, beginning with clicking the settings icon in your account. Next, you should click on ‘Security’ and select ‘Set Up’ to the right of ‘2-Step Verification’. Finally, choose whether you want to get your code through text or an authenticator app, click ‘Set it Up’, and follow the on-screen prompts concerning your chosen method.

  • Ensure the Software on Your Devices is Up-To-Date

PayPal offers apps for both Android and iOS users which you can download from Google Play or App Store. While this is a good way of making the service more accessible, it also comes with its set of security issues that could affect your account. That being said, PayPal does its best to patch its app in case any vulnerability is identified to ensure your funds are always safe.

With different patches being added to the app, the company releases more updated versions that are more secure than the last. Users need to download the latest versions of the PayPal app to ensure they have access to up-to-date security features. You can find out whether there’s a new version of the app by checking on Google Play or App Store regularly or subscribing to newsletter emails to receive notifications regarding this.

  • Be Suspicious of Emails from PayPal

Let’s say, for instance, you have received an email from PayPal asking for your personal information. In this case, it’s best to double-check with the company by reaching out to their customer support. Oftentimes, emails like these are meant to target unsuspecting users to collect data and use their private information for fraudulent purposes.

Such emails are referred to as phishing messages  and falling prey to them can lead to severe consequences, with the most common one being identity theft. The good thing is there are always telltale signs that the email isn’t from the company, including spelling mistakes, bad grammar, and generic greetings like ‘Dear Customer’ instead of using your name. Ultimately, the best defense against this is to educate yourself on cybersecurity matters as this will help you spot the difference between real and fake emails.

  • When Using PayPal for Gaming, Ensure the Website is Legit

One of the most common ways people use PayPal is for online gaming, where the provider acts as an intermediary between the casino site and the bank account. It gains its popularity from allowing almost immediate deposits and fast withdrawals lasting between two to three days. The problem comes when players sign up for an illegitimate site just because it has stated that it accepts this payment method.

So common is this scam that numerous people fall for the trap every year, with hundreds of thousands being lost in the process. The only way to protect yourself against this is by doing your research and signing up for legal and licensed betting sites accepting PayPal. Usually, a gaming site will display its licensing information on the home page, and for more information, you can read online reviews to find out whether it has been involved in fraudulent activities before.

What to Do If You Get Scammed

If you’re unfortunate enough to get scammed, the first measure you should take is to report the incident to PayPal. You can reach out to them by heading to the Resolution Center section on the website. There, you’ll get the chance to specify the problem you’re facing and learn the steps you can take to solve it.

Additionally, you should report the matter to authorities so that they can work together with PayPal to investigate the crime. Lastly, if you’ve received any fishy emails that you suspect might be a phishing message, send them to [email protected] for further investigation.

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