Complex passwords are one way to protect and secure your financial information, but if you want the ultimate level of protection for your online transactions you may want to look into a PayPal security key card. This credit card-sized piece of plastic adds an extra layer of security by generating a unique, six-digit number to use when you're conducting a PayPal transaction.
The card has a small button that, when pressed, will generate and display a new random security code known only to your card and PayPal. This six-digit code is actually tied to an incredibly large number and PayPal says these numbers are, "practically impossible to duplicate."
After you connect your PayPal account to the security card, you will be required to use it to log in to your account. Without the six-digit security number, criminals won't be able to hack into your PayPal account -- even if they guessed your password.
The PayPal security key isn't tied to any computer or operating system since it does not have to connect to your computer or the Internet to work. Everything it needs, including the software to generate the number, is contained within the card. If you lose the card, don't worry, you can still access your account by clicking a link on the login screen and answering security questions similar to the process of retrieving a lost password.
When compared to logging in without it, the PayPal security key card is much more secure. The new model, which can fit in your wallet, is even more portable than before though it would be nice if PayPal debit card users could get a debit card with this technology built in. One downside is that the card costs $5, but if you prefer a free solution you can sign up to get a new security key via text message.
The $5 is worth it when you consider all of the other bank accounts that are linked to your PayPal account. Hopefully users will see similarly portable solutions come to other online accounts that they wish to protect. If one entrepreneur has his way, you may be using another piece of plastic to secure your online transactions sooner than you think.
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