I've used eBay and Paypal for many years now. So has my family. One of the ongoing problems lately is phishing attacks that steal your eBay and/or Paypal accounts. These phishing attacks come by way of a forged email that looks like it's from eBay. It convinces you to log in to eBay in order to respond to this email. It does this by providing a link in the email that you click on that takes you to eBay. The problem is that the link doesn't take you to eBay, but to a site that perfectly copies eBay! You then enter your information, 'eBay' says everything is OK and you go about your life, not realizing that you just gave your eBay username and password to a criminal. They then go in, using your eBay username and password and start stealing from you. The same happens to Paypal, which is even worse because it has direct access to your bank account. I'm usually very good at spotting these phishing attacks but they have gotten so good, that even I fell for one once. My brother fell for one too. Fortunately in both cases, I realized it quickly and we were able to go in and change our passwords before any harm was done.
The problem is that these phishing attacks still happen and will continue to happen for the foreseeable future. We all need a way to protect ourselves from this. Recently, eBay has come up with a way. They now provide an electronic security key that you can use to log into your account. Once you get this small device, you activate it and associate it with your account. From that point on, when you log into your account you have to press the button on this device to get a six digit security key. You type this in along with your username and password to log into the site. Since eBay and Paypal now require this six digit number to log in, even if a criminal got your username and password, they would not be able to log in. Essentially, your password is now changing every 30 seconds and there are 1 million possible combinations that your password could change to every 30 seconds. Unless the criminal is a VERY lucky guesser, they have no prayer of ever logging into your account! Granted, it's a bit of an inconvenience to have to use this little device every time you log into eBay or Paypal, but if it prevents theft, I think it's worth it.
The device costs $5.00 and you can order it here. If you use eBay or Paypal a lot, I suggest you pick up one of these right away!