Electronic commerce is very present in our day to day. We have more and more services and platforms at our disposal to be able to buy and sell items. We also have the possibility of using different payment methods and available services. One of them, one of the most popular and one that has been with us for many years, is PayPal. Now, hackers also set their sights on what has the most users. In this article we will explain what techniques they could use to steal our data and how to protect us.
PayPal, one of the most used payment methods
PayPal remains one of the preferred payment methods when making purchases online. It is not a new platform, far from it, since it has been with us for many years. This also makes cybercriminals set their sights and update their attack methods.
When buying online there are many platforms. We talk about both web services and more and more applications for mobile devices. This allows us to buy anywhere and at any time. Something that could also lead to a decrease in security on certain occasions.
PayPal offers us the possibility of making instant payments. We can add a bank account that is linked and where those payments are charged, as well as deposit money and have it available directly in the account. It is a secure means of payment, but there are methods by which our information could be stolen if we do not pay attention.
Techniques to steal PayPal data
The theft of data and information on the network is one of the most present and serious problems that we face today. There are many methods that hackers can use to attack users. We are going to explain what techniques they can use to steal information from PayPal.
Undoubtedly one of the techniques most used by hackers to steal data from PayPal and elsewhere is Phishing attacks. As we know it is a technique that seeks to supplant identity. In this way he manages to capture the attention of the victim and carry out the attack.
They usually use a bait that usually consists of a problem or something that we must solve. For example, they can tell us that our account has suffered an attack and that it will be closed if we do not enter with our credentials to confirm that it is us. We are actually handing over that data to hackers.
It can also happen that we come across fake PayPal buttons. We refer to the links to make a payment on certain pages. They may have been put there on purpose, to steal money from users, but in most cases it is due to an external attack. They inject malicious code into that website and manage to change the real account for one controlled by the attackers.
We must always observe very well the buttons to which we access. We must verify that we are actually sending the payment to whoever we want and not to an imposter.
Something similar happens with fake applications. Sometimes we can download a plug-in or application that can be maliciously modified. They could collect information from users, and even steal the password.
It is another of the methods by which our PayPal information could be stolen. This can happen on both desktops and mobile devices.
Keyloggers and other types of malware
The keyloggers are a type of malware that is designed to steal passwords. Its objective is to register all the keys that we type when entering passwords or user names. It usually reaches our device through a malicious file that we have downloaded.
There are also Trojans and other varieties of malware that could collect information from our device and our accounts. It is, in short, one more technique they use to steal our PayPal accounts.
How to avoid attacks on PayPal accounts
Luckily we can take into account a series of techniques to avoid this type of attack. We can secure our information and not allow data to be stolen when browsing the Internet or accessing these services.
Encrypt our accounts
The first step to prevent attacks on our PayPal accounts is to properly encrypt them. By this we mean creating a password that is really strong and complex. It should contain letters (uppercase and lowercase), numbers, and other special symbols.
But in addition to that, it is also convenient to activate two-step authentication. This is something that is increasingly present in the different Internet services that we can use. It basically consists of a second step, a code for example, to enter our account.
The use of security tools cannot be missing from our devices . Having a good antivirus, for example, can prevent malware from entering our computers. It is important to apply it regardless of the type of device we are using. Luckily we have many options to protect ourselves, both free and paid, and never expose our data on the network.
We can even have extensions for the browser that will allow us to navigate more safely, protecting our data to the maximum. Browsers such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, which are two of the main ones, have a wide range of possibilities in this regard and it is yet another alternative that we can take into account to improve security.
Of course our computers have to be updated and with the latest security patches. Sometimes vulnerabilities can emerge that are exploited by hackers to carry out their attacks. It is vital that we keep our systems up to date and do not leave doors open.
Official and updated applications
In the same way, the applications and add-ons that we use have to be official. Avoid installing programs from third-party sources, as they could have been maliciously modified.
Those programs also need to be up-to-date. For the same reason we mentioned earlier, it is vital that we have the patches installed and the latest versions available.
Avoid storing your password on insecure sites
This is something that often goes unnoticed, but it is very important to know where to store the password and thus avoid problems in PayPal and any other platform. We are talking, for example, about not saving the password in text files on our mobile or computer, as it could be accessible to hackers.
We must also avoid storing passwords in insecure key managers. You always have to use totally reliable programs, that have enough guarantees to avoid problems and, of course, that they are up-to-date. It is, therefore, another point that we must take into account and be thus protected at all times.
Last but most importantly, common sense. Many types of attacks require user interaction. We are talking, for example, of Phishing, which will seek that the user accesses an external link where their data can be stolen. It is important that we always use common sense and do not fall into traps of this type.