Letís begin with the basics: PayPal is an online banking system that allows you to send and/or accept money online. They describe themselves this way:
The worldís most-loved way to pay and get paid. ďWith PayPal, you'll check out lightning-fast and easily without sharing your financial info with the merchant. Link your bank account, credit card, and debit card to your PayPal wallet, then pay however you choose.Ē
I have a PayPal account myself and have rarely had a negative experience with using it. If youíre one of the 84 million users, then you may have already received a phishing email supposedly sent to you from PayPal. Although longtime users know, some do not know that PayPal never sends out emails requesting any sort of account confirmation be sent to them. This means that if you receive an email that appears to be from PayPal and asks for a password, pin number, account number, or any other personal information, you should not send it.
Even if the information in the email seems accurate, itís irrelevant to your safety. If you are concerned that you need to check your PayPal account, simply go the safest route. Go directly to the PayPal site and verify your account that way. Do not click on any links that claim that they will redirect you to the site, just open a new tab or window and visit it yourself.
If you have more concerns about your PayPal safety, make sure to visit their site for this interactive test to educate yourself.
Can You Spot Phishing?
eBay is an international store, still using a popular auction style, but now more focused on online store sales. Although there are many auction sites, most people still use eBay to buy and sell online. If youíre unfamiliar with eBay, itís still safe to know how to buy and sell safely on the Internet.
The email cautions still apply. Those fake emails often sent to PayPal users are also sent to eBay users. These emails, also known as spoofs, have simply one motive Ė to extract information from you. Remember, donít send any personal information and donít click on any links that claim that they will take you to the eBay official site. If you need to check on your account, verify any messages from eBay, or check on an auction, go to the site yourself.
eBay has a very helpful section of their Securities and Resolutions website, created to help shoppers and sellers practice safe auctioning.
Whether banking, buying, or selling, online safety is possible, but it takes awareness of the potential dangers. Happy Shopping!