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Online payments still carry some element of risk, even though precautionary measures are taken with buying and selling these days. Learn how to stay safe online and spot phishing immediately, where the most common threats are, why they happen and how they could be prevented.

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Watch out for phishing.

Online hoaxes are getting more sophisticated – making it tough to know whether an email, SMS or website is real. It’s important you learn how to spot the fakes so you stay safer online. If you believe you've received a phishing email, don’t respond and don’t click on any links or open any attachments. Simply forward the entire email to and delete it.

Suspicious websites.

Watch out for deceptive websites in an attempt to steal your private, sensitive information. Always log in to PayPal by opening a new browser and typing in the web address. The term 'https' should precede any Web address (or URL) where you enter personal information. The "s" stands for secure.

Suspicious emails.

Phishing emails and SMSs are attempts to fish or “phish” for information so cyber criminals can steal your money or identity. They look similar to genuine emails from businesses you’re already familiar with. They ask you to click on links or attachments to update your personal or financial information or confirm your password.

Shop safely online.

  • Make sure you have a secure password
  • Never enter personal or financial details, including passwords, in response to an unsolicited email, even if it looks legitimate
  • Visit websites by typing the full address into your internet browser’s address bar
  • Always log out of sites you have entered personal information into
  • Make sure you have the latest antivirus software protecting your computer

Sell more safely.

  • Don’t include personal information when describing items for sale
  • Make sure the funds are in your PayPal account before shipping the item
  • Consider setting up a separate email address for sales and customer service so your personal email account remains private
  • Make sure no personal details can be seen in the background of photographs of items for sale, e.g. house number or car number plates

Security on the move.

Never underestimate falling prey to fraudsters even with your mobile devices. Have greater security and peace of mind with these tips:

  • Always activate a PIN or lock function for your mobile device
  • Turn on automatic updates on your mobile device if that’s an available option
  • When installing new applications, review permissions and decide whether you’re comfortable granting the access that an application asks for
  • Enable “Find My Device” to help you find your device if it’s lost or stolen, and lock it or wipe it clean remotely if you need to
  • Backup your device on a regular basis

Frequently Asked Questions.

How to identify a phishing email?

Here are some common features that may indicate the email is a hoax:

  • Generic email greetings that does not address you by your first and last name
  • Attachments or software updates
  • Deceptive URLs or false links
  • Wrong, out of date or out of place logos, design and type
  • Upsetting or urgent statements demanding you react immediately
  • Bad spelling and grammar
  • Requests for financial or personal information
  • Amazingly too-good-to-be-true offers

Never let your guard down.

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