What Should I Do If My PayPal Account Was Hacked
PayPal is an online financial giant. With 192 million+ users, it’s possibly the most widely used payment option across the globe. Those numbers make it even more attractive to hackers who will grab your details and sell them at a frighteningly fast pace on the black market. In fact, for as little as $2, someone could gain access to your PayPal, eBay, and other online accounts.
In a recent report, a hack was exposed where the criminals were using Facebook and WhatsApp to infiltrate PayPal accounts. If you are worried that your PayPal account might be hacked, don’t waste another minute. Take these steps to safeguard yourself from this and future attacks.
1. Hack-Proof Your Password
Chances are if your account was hacked, the criminals have your password, so this is the first place you want to start. You can do this by going to your PayPal account, and clicking on edit within this security section.
It’s important to find a password that isn’t obvious or easy to hack if you want to keep your account secure. A weak password is like trying to secure your home with a deadbolt made out of yarn! Strong passwords consist of the following components:
- At least eight characters long to be exact.
- Mix things up. This makes it harder for the bots to crack. Switch up the cases, add in some funny characters, and include some numbers as well.
- Common words or known information about yourself will be the first thing people use when they try to hack. Skip these obvious passwords, and use something more distinct.
2. Check the Account Details
Within your account settings, and make sure no hackers have added or changed any info on these sections. This gets a little tricky, especially with PayPal because people frequently have several email addresses linked to their accounts. You might have your spouse, parent, or children also listed on your PayPal account, so you need to go through each one and check all the details are correct.
See that no one has changed the spelling of your email address (even one character off) or put in a new or different phone number on any of the accounts listed. Obviously remove and change any details that have been added or tampered with, and realize that this is a huge indicator of foul play.
3. Scan Activity Logs
PayPal accounts are clearly monitored, and all activity is logged on your personal account page. This is a helpful tool that lets you see if anyone has been using your account without your knowledge. Go to your Activity Log page, and scan the entries. See if there are any purchases or transfers you don’t remember making.
If you see anything that looks suspicious, click the Report This as Unauthorized link right away to get PayPal on the case.
4. Look for Other Breaches
Hackers seldom stop at one account. If your PayPal account was hacked, chances are other online accounts of yours were hit too. This is particularly true if you made the major mistake of using the same password for more than one account. Go through all of your accounts, make sure you can still access each one, and change the password using the same tips we mentioned above for picking a strong password.
5. Defend Your Account
Make your PayPal account more secure to prevent future hacking attempts. Under the Security section of your account settings, you’ll find a Security questions section. Enable this feature to add another layer of protection to your account. This way, even if someone tries to hack your account using a legitimate password, they won’t get past the security question.
6. Secure the Perimeters
It’ll be no good beefing up the security if the enemy is already in the house. That’s why you need to scan your computer to check for any unwanted visitors like malware, Trojan horses, or other viruses that a hacker might have dropped into your device without you knowing it. Use a strong antivirus to detect anything fishy on your computer or mobile device, and run the software periodically to keep hackers at bay.
These are the steps to take if you can still access your PayPal account. If on the other hand, you’ve been locked out of your account (your password doesn’t work or you receive some other error message), then you need to take even more proactive and immediate steps to get back your account.
Follow this additional step in this case:
7. Regain Control
Was my Gmail hacked along with my other e-mail accounts? Regaining control of your PayPal account is still doable if you can access your email that is associated with the account. Simply follow this link to reset your password. PayPal will send a link to the email address listed on your account. Once again, change any passwords while you still have access to your accounts.
If you can’t even get into your email account, follow these steps for:
Also get in touch with PayPal right away. Click here to contact them by phone, and use the contact as guest option if you can’t log in.
Secure Your Accounts Thoroughly
Regardless of whether you’ve been hacked, have access to your accounts, or are totally locked out, LogDog is a security must-have for anyone with an online account. This free tool is available for iOS or Android devices, and it will scan your accounts to find all the sensitive information that hackers are looking for, inform you of where it’s hiding, and help you get rid of it before anyone else can get to it! This is a failsafe security step that everyone needs to run.