PayPal, eBay and FTC Partner to Help People Sell Safely Online

By: Andy Steingruebl, Director of Ecosystem Security, PayPal

PayPal and eBay are joining forces with the FTC to give you some helpful security tips, as well as update you on how we keep people secure online.

It’s now easier than ever to sell electronics, fashion items and even your car on marketplaces like eBay and find buyers within days, or even hours. You should feel secure when you list your items for sale or buy online. At PayPal, we take your safety and security very seriously - we’ve been providing a secure payment system for millions of people for 15 years. Our experience and technology help us to predict, identify and stop criminals. PayPal’s fraud models and verification techniques are recognized as some of the best in the industry.

Here are a few key ways we help protect our customers:

A Strong Front Door. PayPal has industry-leading anti-fraud technology that gets smarter with every transaction that goes through our system. With this technology, we’re often able to detect unusual activity on our system the moment it happens and often, before it affects customers. We employ some of the most experienced cybercrime experts in the industry to combat cybercrime, including ex-law-enforcement and military officials. 

Working with the Community. PayPal leads industry organization efforts such as the Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Alliance and DMARC to help make the Internet a more secure place for everyone. We spearheaded DMARC, a technology that helps to prevent fake emails from ever reaching your inbox. We also work closely with Internet Service Providers and brand owners to help shut down fraudulent Web sites. As a result of these efforts, in the month of August, PayPal helped reduce the average time a phishing site is live by more than 50% over the industry average. Plus, we have a global team of investigators who partner with law enforcement to investigate cybercrime cases and prosecute criminals who attempt to harm consumers when using PayPal or eBay services. There are many cases where criminal activity has been proactively referred to law enforcement by PayPal and eBay and the information we provide has led to numerous arrests. 

Customer Education. An important part of what we do is help educate our customers about common online scams and ways to help protect themselves. Here are some simple ways that people can stay secure when shopping and selling online:

- Be careful when clicking links in email. Criminals typically send emails telling you that you need to act now to get your personal information.  Then they send you to a fake Web site to steal your information.

Tips: If you get an email from PayPal that you feel may be suspicious, please forward to spoof@paypal.com.

Use a strong, secure password. Using the same password at multiple sites is like using the same key for your house, your car, and your office.  If something happens to that key, you could be in trouble.

Tip: In addition to using different passwords for different sites, using an obvious password like “password” or the name or birthday of a family member is a very common mistake. Instead, use a strong password, which includes a combination of upper and lowercase letters and numbers.

Protect your device. Shopping online on an unprotected computer or outdated mobile operating system is like driving without a seat belt.

Tips: Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Many software and antivirus programs automatically update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates on any device – such as laptops, mobile phones and gaming consoles – that connects to the Internet if that’s an available option.

Use an email provider that supports email verification. Criminals will often send phishing emails trying to trick you into revealing sensitive information.  These messages may look legitimate when viewing them, but email verification technology automatically detects when an email is trying to masquerade as if it comes from reputable companies such as PayPal.

Tips: Major webmail providers such as Gmail, Outlook.com, and Yahoo support strong email verification.  Using them as your primary email provider significantly decreases the likelihood that you will receive fraudulent email purporting to be from PayPal.

- Use common sense. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  A common way to trick someone into following links and doing something risky is to play on fear (e.g. “Your account is suspended”) and greed (e.g. “Claim $100 now”).

Tips: Use common sense when considering what to do online.  If you wouldn’t do something in the offline world, don’t assume its okay online.  Trust your instincts.
In case something does go wrong, both PayPal and eBay offer strong seller and buyer protections so you are 100% covered for any unauthorized transactions. Don’t ever hesitate to let us know about any suspicious activity on your account. We’re here to help keep you protected!