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Simple Steps to Protecting Your Accounts Against Scammers
April 10, 2020
We know that now, more than ever, many people are taking extra precautions to protect themselves against the threat of scammers who try to take advantage of the uncertainty around the world. That’s why we’ve created a checklist of the easy steps you can follow to help increase the security of your accounts and prevent the risk of interference from scammers.
- Be cautious when banking online on public WiFi: If you need to access online banking or financial accounts or provide personal information, avoid using public WiFi networks. Instead, wait until you get home and can access a private network.
- Check your credit report regularly: Several services allow you to check your credit report for free, and you can find reputable services by searching online. If you’re not actively pursuing new lines of credit or loans, consider applying a credit freeze through the credit bureaus.
- Make a habit of checking financial accounts regularly: Monitoring activity on your accounts is one of the best ways to help protect yourself against fraud. Don’t forget to also regularly review who has access to your accounts to ensure any authorized users are current.
- Only download trusted applications and operating systems: Ensure that you’ve verified the security of applications on your computer, smartphone and tablets, and only download links from verified sources.
- Make sure your software is updated, including on smartphones and tablets: When updates are available, download in a timely manner. Updates often include important security enhancements that you should take immediate advantage of.
- Stay vigilant when it comes to email and text messages: Be wary if a message demands urgent or immediate action, especially if the email comes from an odd or unfamiliar sender. Do not open attachments or click links from unknown sources in emails or text messages, even if it’s to "unsubscribe" from the sender. Even if a message appears to come from a trusted source, such as your bank, be aware that financial institutions will never ask for personal identifying information in an email or text. You can try to verify the identity of the contact through an independent source such as a phone book or online search. Do not use the contact details provided in the message sent to you. If you receive a suspicious email, forward it to email@example.com and then delete it. To forward a text message, follow these steps:
- iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch - tap and hold the message you want to forward, select More, then tap the Forward arrow on the bottom right corner and enter firstname.lastname@example.org. After you’ve hit send, delete the message.
- Android - tap and hold the message you want to forward, select the More Menu, and then Forward to email@example.com. After you’ve hit send, delete the message.
- Trust, but verify if you’re unsure of the legitimacy of a transaction: If you’re questioning the safety or legitimacy of a transaction you’re making, take some time to do some research. Read reviews of the business online. If a message or email comes from friends or family and seems unusual, take some time to contact the individual to confirm that it is legitimate.
- Review your privacy and security settings on social media: Be deliberate about who you connect with and learn how to configure your privacy and security settings. Enforce privacy controls on your social media accounts to ensure your email address and/or phone number are not being shared publicly. Remember: Limit the amount of personal and travel information you share on social media as criminals leverage social media postings to gather data that can be used later.
How to Protect Your Accounts with PayPal
PayPal has always been focused on striving to ensure the secure transactions of our customers. In addition to following our tips for transacting safely online, we recommend enabling the following features to help make sure your account with PayPal is protected.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by supplementing your username and password with an extra piece of information, so you can verify online activity. To set up MFA on your account with PayPal, go to the settings icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen, then click the ‘Security’ tab to set up a mobile PIN and 2-step verification.
PayPal Security Key
PayPal also offers users the option to enable a PayPal Security Key, which provides a second authentication factor when logging into your account with PayPal. When enabled, The PayPal Security Key sends you a temporary one-time pin via SMS that you enter in addition to your password to log in to PayPal. Click here to setup a PayPal Security Key for your mobile phone.