PayPal or Credit Card—Which is Safer?

Find out whether PayPal or a credit card is the best way to stay safe from fraud and prevent identity theft when making online purchases.

Laura Adams, MBA
5-minute read
Episode #266

PayPal or Credit Card?

Tip #4: Use a PayPal Security Key

If you want even more protection, you can use a PayPal security key. You can purchase a physical key for $29.95 that’s the size of a credit card and displays random security codes that change every 30 seconds. You have to enter the current key code to log in to your PayPal account.

PayPal can also send security codes by text message on your mobile phone. This option is free, except for the standard text messaging rates that apply. Once you enable this mobile option, you text PayPal to for a security code and they text it back to you.

Tip #5: Never Access PayPal in Public

You should never access any website that contains your confidential information from a public computer or an open Wi-Fi connection. There could be malicious software on a public computer that records your keystrokes. Even if you use your own laptop in an internet café or library, hackers can track what you’re doing on an unsecured internet connection.

A thief just needs your PayPal password to access your account, reset your password, and take over. So visit your online financial accounts from a secure internet connection only.

Tip #6: Update Your Computer Security

Keep your computer updated with the latest anti-virus software and security patches to your operating system and internet browser. Remember that if your computer has spyware and you use a financial site like PayPal, a cyber criminal will know your username and password and have easy access to your account without you knowing it.


About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.