Keeping Your Passwords Safe

At PayPal, your account security is our top priority. While we deploy industry-leading technology to help safeguard your account, there are steps you can take to help protect your account.

Perhaps one of the biggest contributions you can make to keep your account secure is by creating a strong password and keeping it safe. It is important to protect your password not only to protect your money, but to prevent a thief from using your account to defraud others.


 How are passwords compromised?

Identity thieves may trick you into revealing your password with a spoof email urgently suggesting there is a problem with your account. For more help on identifying and fighting fraudulent emails, read PayPal's spoof tutorial.

Another very common way a password may be compromised is simply to guess at what it might be. People often choose passwords that are easy to remember, keeping them short and uncomplicated. Unfortunately, in making the password easy to remember, you also make it easy for someone who knows just a little bit about you to guess.

Passwords may also be guessed if they are words that can be found in the dictionary. Thieves use programs to try every word in a dictionary as your password, hoping that one of the words will eventually match.

You can protect your password from these dangers by following a few easy principles.

 A few easy ideas to keep your password safe.

Here are a few ideas for creating better, safer passwords:

  • Don't use your personal information. Avoid using the last four digits of your Social Security number, your middle name, pet's name, birth date, or any word that is obvious when thinking of you.
  • Use character combinations. Take a word that you might use for a password and change at least one character to something from the top line of the keyboard — for example crabapple becomes "cr@bapple." Add in a number and a mix of capital and lowercase letters—like "Cr@bAppl3"—and you increase your security considerably.
  • Keep your password unique. Don't use the same password for all of your accounts.