Security

Frequently asked questions – PayPal Security Key.

What is the PayPal Security Key?

The Security Key provides a second authentication factor when you log into your PayPal account. Your password is the first factor. Even if a fraudster gets your password, they won’t be able to login without the second factor. Security Key makes your account security much stronger.

How It Works

First you connect your mobile phone number to your PayPal account by receive an SMS from PayPal. It only takes about a minute to enroll.

After that each time you login to your account, we will send you a unique random six-digit code via SMS. You enter the code as part of the login process. Each code is valid for 5 minutes and can only be used once, so the chance of a fraudster guessing the correct code is literally one in a million.

You can connect multiple phone numbers to your account if you have more than one phone or more than one user on the account.

PayPal does not charge for Security Key SMS, but be aware that your mobile phone provider's standard text messaging fees will apply if you select that option. So check with your phone service provider if you are unsure about SMS charges.

Add Security Key now.

Why should I use the PayPal Security Key?

Logging in with your PayPal user name and password is secure. But some people prefer to have an extra layer of security, and that's where the Security Key comes in:

  • It randomly generates security codes that are practically impossible to guess.
  • You will have it with you as long as you have your mobile phone.

How do I use Security Key?

To use Security Key:

  1. Log in to PayPal as you normally would. Then look for the Send SMS button on the next page. If you have multiple phones, then pick the number you want to use.
  2. Click Send SMS and then look for a text message on your mobile phone with the code. You should receive the six-digit code within 30 seconds and it is good for five minutes.
  3. Enter the code to complete the log-in process.

What do I need to use Security Key?

You'll need a mobile phone and service that supports SMS text messaging. Contact your mobile provider to make sure your phone and services are set up for SMS if you are not certain, and to find out the standard text messaging charges for your phone plan.

My text messages don't always come through. Can I still log in without a code?

If you don’t receive the SMS message for some reason you can still login, but we'll ask you a few security verification questions so we're sure it's you. Once you have logged in, make sure we have your current phone number on file, as this could be the reason for the problem. If you have multiple phone numbers on the account make sure that you picked the right one.

Can I still log in to my PayPal account if I don't have my mobile phone with me?

Yes, as long as you can answer the security questions correctly.

Will the Security Key work with my computer?

Yes, it works with any computer, operating system, and Web browser that can access the PayPal website.

How much does Security Key SMS cost?

PayPal does not charge for Security Key SMS, but standard phone text message rates apply. Contact your phone service provider if you are uncertain about your text message phone plan.

What if I lose my mobile phone or change my number?

Your security key service is tied to your mobile phone number, so if you're keeping your old number but getting a new phone, you don't have to do anything.

If you're getting a new number, you'll have to register the new number and remove the old number.

If your phone is temporarily lost or stolen, you should login to your account and deactivate the number until you get control of the phone number again. Then you can reactivate the number on your account.

How do I deactivate Security Key?

Click here, then select the phone number and click Deactivate.

Your PayPal account will remain secure, even if you decide to deactivate your Security Key. You can always reactivate the same number or add a different phone number in the future.