The PayPal Security Key

The PayPal security key is a useful little device for anyone using the well known money payment service.

Before we talk a little more about the PayPal security key, maybe we should just give you a brief rundown of what PayPal is:
PayPal was a service originally conceived to help people receive and send money to buyers and sellers of online auction sites such as eBay etc without all the hassle of having to go through banks and merchant accounts etc. The buyer simply used a credit / debit card to pay PayPal for their items, and PayPal passed the money onto the seller, taking out a small fee (approx 3%) to cover costs, and make a profit.

As with all other services handling money, security is a very important part of what PayPal is all about, however the only thing anyone needs to access someone elses PayPal account is their username (which is usually their email address) and a password. With people being people, it’s not uncommon for people to use easily guessed passwords and compromise their security.

To combat this PayPal have introduced something known as the PayPal Security Key. This is a small credit card sized device that houses some logic chips and an LCD display. Each device is totally unique, and needs to be registered to your PayPal account before you can use it. Once registered, whenever you need to log in to your PayPal account you will need to press the button. This will then display a number on the LCD screen that now needs to be appended to your normal PayPal password.

Every time you use the card a new number is displayed, hence your password is always different, so any keylogging software would be unable to capture your password, and it is all but impossible for anyone to hack into your account using a brute force method.

In short, we think that the PayPal security is a great little device and thoroughly recommend it to anyone with a PayPal account. If you wish to get one of these keys then head on over to and simply follow the instructions to sign up. (Note – you must go to the .com site, even if you are based in the UK as the site will only offer you the mobile phone option)

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