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The PayPal Security Key


By hagrin - Posted on 03 March 2007

Recently, when I heard that PayPal would be offering additional security through a keychain security key (or key fob), I immediately signed up that day even though I rarely use PayPal and Ebay. For me, I want to be an early adopter of two form authentication since most Internet users really should be protecting themselves in every available manner (from themselves in many cases). I applaud PayPal and Ebay for implementing this additional layer of security before any of my banks have and I hope that more institutions follow suit.

First, I paid $5 USD to get the security key. I ordered the security key over a month ago and was surprised when it came today in the mail. If you haven't seen an image of the key yet, I've included one below -

Activating your security key is extremely easy. All that you need to do is browse to PayPal's security key page, enter in the serial number on the back of your key fob, press the key's button to generate a 6 digit number, wait 30 seconds and then retrieve a second number. If successfully activated, your security key will be attached to your account. I logged out and logged back in to test the new system and loved the simplicity. After successfully entering in my email address and password, I was now presented with an additional screen asking for my 6 digit number instead of my normal Account status screen.

It's that simple.

With all of the talk of Ebay hackings and PayPal insecurity, any user that relies on either of these services would be foolish to not spend the 5 dollars to add yet another level of security. This security key provides protection against those phishing attempts that are lucky enough to catch you with your guard down since even if they sniff out your email and password, the 6 digit security code will prevent them from fully accessing your account. You'd have to say - PayPal is definitely on the right track and got "it" right this time.