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Added Paypal Security

Add your cell phone for dual authentication. In my Newsletter article for Sep-Oct 2007, I suggested that you get a Paypal security key for added security. If you did that, like I did, then you should begin to worry that the battery will run out and cause you some difficulty when it fails. We got them 2 years ago, and they have an expected battery life of 2-3 years. My recommendation, whether you followed my previous one or not, is that you add your cell phone as a method for dual authentication.

When you purchase something through Paypal, they will take your password, and then send a 6 digit code as a text message to your cell phone. You will then be required to enter that code to complete the transaction.  If you already have a security key from them, they will send you to a page which asks whether you want to use your phone or your security key. This added protection is free.

Just login to your account. Choose Profile ⁄ More options. Then select PayPal Security key. You can now add and activate your cell phone, or order a security key.

While you are there, check your Identification Preference. This is the procedure that will be followed by PayPal if someone calls and says they are you but has forgotten their password or their cell phone broke. In other words, this is the weak link that will allow a criminal to access your account even if you have a great unbreakable password. They offer 3 ridiculous and one good option. The 3 ridiculous ones are: 1. Part of your social security number 2. Part of your credit card number 3. Part of your phone number.

Instead select Custom Service Pin. Then create a new powerful password and record it in your password safe. This is the only option that gives you reasonable protection.

Date: November 2009

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