How to manage your PayPal account

The fact that you are subscribed to this newsletter means that you have a PayPal account and are somewhat familiar with PayPal but here some extra information about PayPal that will help you manage your money online.

The whole idea behind PayPal is to make paying or sending and receiving money online easier and it has become a very popular website for both buyers and sellers. PayPal does offer some security benefits because when you use PayPal, your credit or debit card information isn’t being stored on a website which hackers could access, but like most things, it still isn’t 100% secure.

Security first: for a criminal to access your PayPal account, they need your password. Make sure you choose a strong password that can’t be guessed or hacked, see the June 2014 issue for help on that, and also beware of phishing emails, as this is a common method to obtain your password. See the December 2014 issue article on that.

You can add an extra layer of security to your account if you have a mobile phone that can receive text messages. When activated, this feature will send a text message to your phone each time you log in with a unique one-off code you will need to enter to complete the login process. To activate, log into your PayPal account and click the cog icon to access settings.

Select the security tab and then click the Edit button for the Security key option. On this page, click the Get security key link and enter your mobile phone number as it would be dialled from overseas. Enter your phone number in the two boxes provided and click the register button. PayPal will send a code to your phone which you will need to enter into the website to activate this feature.

PayPal also sends you an email each time a transaction takes place. Make sure the email PayPal has on record is one you read often and pay attention to these emails as they come in. If you receive an email for a transaction that is not yours, log into the PayPal website, click on the transaction in the summary view and click the “Report this as unauthorised” link so PayPal can start an investigation.

To change your email, click the cog icon to access settings then click the + tab next to the email address heading and enter your new address. PayPal will send a confirmation email with a link to activate the address. Once activated click the Edit button for that address and set it as the primary address. Your password can be changed on the security tab of the settings page.

If you would rather use funds from a bank account to make PayPal payments, click the Wallet link in the top menu and then click the “Add a bank account” button. Once you have entered your bank details, PayPal may make two small deposits into your bank account. This process will take between 3-5 days. Once they appear on your bank statement, log into PayPal, click Confirm Bank Account, and enter the amounts.

Once your bank account is linked up, people can actually send you money via PayPal which you will then be able to withdraw from PayPal, into your bank account. This is done by clicking the “Withdraw money” link on the summary page. Be warned though, once you have linked a bank account to your PayPal account, this becomes the default payment method and there is no way to change it.

If you wish to send a payment through PayPal or even just money to a relative, you can do so by clicking the Send and Request link at the top of the page. If you choose the “Send money to friends and family” option, PayPal will not charge you any fees for transactions done within the county. To send money, all you need to do is enter the persons email address and the amount you want to send.