6 basic things small businesses can do for online security.

Apr 11 2018 | PayPal editorial staff

Managing your personal and financial identity online is extremely important. 
While attempts to hijack or overcome technology in order to defraud people and businesses are evolving quickly, there are still certain steps you can take to help protect your online security and your business.  

1. Don’t send sensitive personal or financial information via email.
This includes account numbers, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords and logins, and more. If you need to provide the information, do it over the phone.

 
2. Enable automatic updates for your applications and software to prevent malware.
Popular applications and operating system software are complex and often have minor bugs - making them targets for hackers. Some examples include:
  • Web browsers like Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari
  • Microsoft Office
  • Adobe Reader
  • Adobe Flash Player
Hackers often find and exploit bugs to install malicious software, also known as malware. Fortunately, most device makers and application developers provide regular updates to operating systems and applications.

Even so, the catch is: when security updates are published, the software company and developers usually indicate the issues they’ve addressed. Hackers, who were previously unaware of the software issue, may now choose to focus on the software or application to exploit other vulnerabilities.
 
It’s always a good idea to keep your system up-to-date with the latest releases. The easiest way to do that is to enable automatic updates for your system and applications when possible. Normally this is managed through the Control Panel on Windows and under Preferences on MacOS.

 
3. Don’t forget about OS updates, using anti-virus software, and enabling auto updates for both.
Just like a human virus, software viruses and other malware can spread in many ways, and it won’t always be clear how it got onto your system. Along with exercising caution, we recommend using an anti-virus software, which can help protect you by detecting and addressing known malware on your system.
 
If enabled, most anti-virus software are capable of running scheduled scans and checking incoming emails for malware to help prevent them from being downloaded into your system. Historically, malware has been associated with personal computer systems, but are now common on portable electronic devices such as tablets and smartphones. Also consider anti-virus protection for your tablet and smartphone.
 
Tip: Automatic OS updates are managed through the Control Panel on Windows and under Preferences on MacOS.

 
4. Don’t click on suspicious links.
Especially beware of things that seem too good to be true including:
  • Free downloads. Malware are often embedded within other software programs and some malware masquerades as a game or screen saver, just waiting for you to install it. Watch out for these “freebies.” 
  • Unexplained “virus detected” messages. Another common strategy is the fake virus test. You get a message saying there’s a problem and it prompts you to download software to ‘fix it’, but the software could contain malware.
  • Email attachments. If you receive an unexpected email from someone with an attachment, be suspicious. If the email has only a short, non-personal message like “This is funny!” with an attachment, be even more suspicious. Check the sender’s email address if you’re in doubt. If you’re still skeptical, but think you need to see the attachment, call the sender and ask. You may find that the sender’s email account was hacked and is now being used to send out malicious SPAM. 
 
5. Create unique, secure passwords.
This includes:
  • Using a combination of special characters, letters, and numbers and;
  • Using unique passwords for multiple accounts
For more information, read this article on how to create and manage passwords for security.

6. Check all partner company’s security measures.
If you’re sharing personal or financial information with a company, you should always understand the security measures they take to protect your data. For example, PayPal uses industry standard data encryption to help keep your sensitive information and email communications secure. Learn what else PayPal does to protect the personal and financial information of our more than 200 million account holders.
 
You can also access additional information about protecting your online security by reviewing our FAQs at the bottom of this page.

 

The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

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Frequently asked questions.

PayPal Payments Standard is the easiest way to securely accept debit and credit cards, PayPal and PayPal Credit. It takes the hassle out of accepting payments online. You handle the sales. We handle everything from the checkout process to security and mobile compatibility. Plus:
  • No advanced programming is needed.
  • Your customers don’t need a PayPal account to pay you.
  • It’s optimized for customers on smartphones or tablets.
And unlike many full payment-processing solutions, PayPal Payments Standard has no application, setup or monthly fees, or long-term commitments. You start paying when you start selling.

What can I do with PayPal Payments Standard?

PayPal Payments Standard lets you accept credit and debit cards on your website or through an online marketplace such as eBay or Etsy. Buying is straightforward: We handle the checkout process and then send customers back to your site. Fees are a flat amount per transaction, so selling is just as simple. To see all discounts and fees, take a look at our fees page.

You can use PayPal Payments Standard to send invoices online too, so you can get paid sooner. For offline payments, you can add PayPal Here, a mobile payments solution, to your account to let you take payments on the go using your smartphone or tablet. (alternate rates apply).

With PayPal Payments Standard, you’re also eligible to apply for the free PayPal Business Debit Mastercard®.

As with all of our payment solutions, PayPal Payments Standard helps protect your business with our Automatic Fraud Screening, industry-leading data security and reliable customer service.

Get Started Now.
Withdrawals can take up to 72 hrs to complete through the PayPal system. Generally they will complete within 1 business day and it will be within 30 minutes if you choose one of the instant withdrawal channels, however we will occasionally hold a withdrawal for further review. To provide one of the safest online payment services, our internal security system reviews every transaction before it's released.

This type of review can happen for various reasons. For example, you may have received a higher-than-usual amount of money into your account, you may be logging in from an unsecure network or you may have made changes to your account Settings recently.

Once our review has finished, your withdrawal will show as ‘completed’ and will be processed to your card or bank account as long as the review did not turn up any issues. Withdrawals to bank accounts can take 3 to 5 working days.
 

Here's how to set or change your PayPal Business Debit Mastercard® PIN number:

  1. Click your PayPal Business Debit Mastercard® icon on the left side of your Summary page.
  2. Click on the "Set PIN" link icon under Card Settings.
  3. Enter and confirm your 4 digit PIN and then click Change PIN.
Tip: For security purposes, our customer service representatives are unable to reset your PayPal Business Debit Mastercard PIN.
We first use a National Database to confirm your personal information or your business entity. However, sometimes finding your information using the National Database doesn't work because the information is either unavailable, or your name or address has changed.

If we can't verify your personal information, we will ask you to send us documents which confirm your identity via your PayPal account. Please see the guide below explaining what documents we can or cannot accept.

Personal Information Verification​
Proof of Identity
Documents must include information such as first and last name, date of birth, issuance and expiry date, as well as the document ID number. The name on this document must match the name you've registered on your PayPal account.
 
Acceptable Proof of Identity documents are:
  • Passport or passport card
  • Driver’s license (front and back)
  • State or Government Issue ID (front and back)
Unacceptable documents:
  • Military IDs
  • State medical cards, student cards
  • Expired, partial or obscured documents
Note:  If you've recently changed your name and the information on your identity document doesn't match the information on your account, you may have to provide additional documentation to show the name has changed.
 
Proof of Address
A proof of residence document that confirms where you live. This document must show both your full name and residential address. We can only confirm physical addresses, not PO Box addresses. 
 
Acceptable Proof of Address documents are:
  • Utility bill (Dated within last 12 months)
  • Cell or landline phone bill (Dated within last 12 months)
  • Motor vehicle registration (Dated within last 12 months)
  • 401k/Brokerage Statement (Dated within last 12 months)
  • Copy of Grant Deed on Home or Lease Agreement for Home
  • Bank or credit card statement (Dated within last 12 months)
  • Identity card or driver’s license with physical address listed (must be current)
Unacceptable documents:
  • Envelopes
  • Military IDs
  • Invoices, receipts, all waybills
  • Expired, partial or obscured documents
Proof of SSN/ITIN
A document that confirms your 9-digit SSN/ITIN, assigned by the Internal Revenue Service or Social Security Administration.
 
Acceptable Proof of SSN/ITIN documents include:
  • Social Security Number card
  • Letter from IRS assigning SSN or ITIN
  • 1099 Form (Dated within last 12 months)
  • Employer-issued W2 (Dated within last 12 months)
  • Paystub with complete SSN (Dated within last 12 months)
  • 3rd party prepared tax documents (Dated within last 12 months, and signed by 3rd party preparer)
Unacceptable documents:
  • Envelopes
  • Self-completed applications
  • Self-prepared tax documents
  • Expired, partial or obscured documents
Note If you don't have access to any of these documents, you can go to your local Social Security Office and request a letter which will confirm your Social Security Number.


Business Entity Verification 
Proof of Business Identity
A document that confirms your business entity’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Tax Identification Number (TIN). The business name on this document must match the full business name on your PayPal account.
 
Acceptable Proof of Business Identity documents include :
  • Copy of IRS Letter assigning EIN/TIN
  • Screen print of EIN/TIN assigned real-time during online application
  • Previous year’s business tax return, prepared and signed by 3rd party preparer
  • Current bank statement displaying truncated EIN/TIN (Dated within last 12 months)
  • Current credit card statement displaying truncated EIN/TIN (Dated within last 12 months)
  • Other government-issued documents displaying full business name and 9-digit EIN/TIN (Dated within last 12 months)
Unacceptable documents:
  • Self-completed applications
  • Self-prepared tax documents
  • Expired, partial or obscured documents
Proof of Business Address
A proof of address document that confirms your business entity’s correspondence address. We can only confirm physical addresses, not PO Box addresses. All documents must be dated within the last 12 months.
 
Acceptable Proof of Business Address documents include:
  • Current utility or phone bill
  • Current insurance or tax statement
  • Government-issued business license/permit
  • Current Certificate of Good Standing (Active Status)
  • Current bank statement displaying full business name
  • Current credit card statement displaying full business name
  • Other registration document filed with Secretary of State (i.e. Certificate of Incorporation, Partnership Agreement, or comparable business registration document)
Unacceptable documents:
  • Envelopes
  • Invoices, receipts, all waybills
  • Expired, partial or obscured documents
Proof of Business Existence
A current document issued by the Secretary of State (or equivalent agency) showing that a business entity has complied with the applicable provisions of the laws of the state, is in good standing, and is authorized to transact for business. The business name on this document must match the full business name on your PayPal account.
 
Acceptable Proof of Business Existence include:
  • Government-issued business license/permit
  • Current Certificate of Good Standing (Active Status)
  • Other registration document filed with Secretary of State (i.e. Certificate of Incorporation, Partnership Agreement, or comparable business registration document)
Note: All documents must be dated within the last 12 months.

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