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PayPal to offer extra layer of protection

By Steve Ragan Jan 12, 2007, 17:39 GMT

PayPal provider of secure online payment transactions, and popular form of payment among users of EBay, the online auction leader, is currently testing a variant of RSA Security’s SecurID token.

The PayPal Security Key is free to business accounts but a $5.00 service fee will be issued to personal accounts. These accounts require users to enter a randomized six-digit code in correspondence with their username and password. Aimed at protecting consumers and members from fraud, the PayPal Security Key is currently in beta testing by PayPal employees. It will go into public testing in the next few months.

The key itself calculates a numeric password every thirty seconds, making the feature useful as the keys are designed for one use only. This type of security is already in place at several financial firms across the United States. 

You can activate the feature under the profile section of your personal PayPal account, and from there, sign up to get the key. If you lose or break your key, a common problem for many who use these types of devices, PayPal said that you could still login to your account; only you will need to verify it. They did not say in their FAQ pages how you would verify your information but anyone who has ever called PayPal over the phone is familiar with playing twenty questions to prove your identity.

The new level of security offered by PayPal might stem from the fact it is often the target of phishing scams and many victims of online fraud stem from having their PayPal, and subsequently their bank accounts drained, because of it. The service, when launched officially, would be of great value to anyone who is persistent user of EBay or other online merchants with their PayPal account.

Several high street banks, such as HSBC, already offer this service to their business customers.

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