Managing passwords for security.

Jan 03 2019 | Alice Wong, Small business - North Americas, PayPal

Having a secure, unique password for each of your online accounts is critical. Here are several ways to help ensure your passwords are secure.
1. Use strong passwords.
Make sure your passwords are:
  • More than eight characters long.
  • Use lowercase and uppercase letters, a number, and a special character (like ~!@#$%^&*()_+=?><.,/).
  • Not easy to guess. For example, try to stay away from words or dates that can be easily associated with you like: a pet’s name, family name or birthdate.
  • A combination of words with unusual capitalization, numbers and special characters interspersed.
  • Something you can remember.
Tip: Misspelled words are stronger because they’re not in the dictionary used by attackers.
2. Use strong PINs.
Similar to passwords, it’s important to create strong PINs and not reuse them across multiple websites. Longer PINs are, you guessed it, stronger than shorter ones. Don’t choose common PINs like 1234 or 1111, and don’t use birthdates or other identifiable dates or number combinations that someone who knows you could easily guess. We also recommend straying away from current or past addresses or phone numbers, because these can easily be found on the internet.
3. Don’t reuse passwords.
Reusing passwords on multiple websites can be risky. If your credentials are compromised on one, it can also easily compromise your other ones.
It’s a scary thought, but studies1 show the majority of people use the same password for several sites, meaning your password is only as secure as the weakest site that uses it.

4. Create a password management system.
 Unfortunately, the more passwords you have to remember, the greater the chance you'll forget some of them. You can always use the traditional method of writing them down and keeping them in a secure place, but another option is to use software that generates randomized passwords. A password manager helps you manage passwords in one place, and it can also help you create complex passwords are different from each other so you don't face the risk of forgetting them.
Tip: Don’t keep the list in your wallet. If someone steals it, they'd get your personal information, credit cards, plus access to important online accounts. If you need to carry the list with you, consider a password keeper app on your smartphone.

5. Change passwords and PINs right away if you notice something suspicious.
Normally, there should be no reason to change your PayPal password or PIN. But there are a few cases where it's a good precaution. For example:
  • If you notice something suspicious on your email account or other online accounts
  • If you suspect that someone you don’t trust has your password
  • If you have recently removed malware from your system
  • If PayPal asks you to change your password
If any one of these occurs, change your password, PIN, and security questions immediately under personal settings.
You can also access additional information about changing your password 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.

1 2017 Consumer Mobile Security App Use, Keeper Security

Was this content helpful?

We’ll use cookies to improve and customize your experience if you continue to browse. Is it OK if we also use cookies to show you personalized ads? Learn more and manage your cookies