How to Determine if you are Really on the Paypal Web Site

By Techwalla Internet Editor

Since its introduction in 2000, PayPal-a sort of online bank account-has become an invaluable resource for anybody who buys, sells or conducts business on their computer. An estimated $27.5 billion was traded on PayPal in 2005 with 100 million account members worldwide. PayPal goes to great lengths to ensure online security and also offers a Seller Protection Policy.

Step 1

Always type the URL (the Web address, for example into the address bar at the top of your computer screen rather than linking to it from another Web site. Online security experts advise this is a good general rule to avoid being directed to phishing sites.

Step 2

Look for basic spelling or grammatical mistakes as well as "amateurish" Web pages. Many fake sites and phishing emails also address you as subscriber, account holder or a similar term-rather than by your name.

Step 3

Be suspicious if you receive an email supposedly from PayPal that asks you to verify your account or for personal information-PayPal doesn't do that. And don't use the link to the PayPal Web site which may be in the email. To check your account, always type in the URL in the address bar.

Step 4

Determine if the PayPal address in your browser is the actual PayPal address. There should be a backslash '/' immediately after "" The real PayPal Web site should read: An example of a fake site might be

Step 5

Look for the little padlock symbol in your browser bar. If you are on the real PayPal site, it is a secure site, meaning your transactions and passwords are protected.

Step 6

Don't click on any links or open any attachments from pop-up boxes or advertisements in email. It's a red flag; PayPal never uses these.

Tips & Warnings

  • Millions of people use PayPal every day for secure financial transactions. PayPal is widely recognized for it's online security and protective features and has received almost twenty awards for technical excellence.
  • On its Web site, PayPal lists several basic ways to improve online security and safety, as well as various tips for buyers and sellers.
  • PayPal will call you if they spot what seems to be a suspicious or unusual transaction or activity in your account.
  • Typing in the URL in the address bar is advice not just for PayPal, but for any Web site that you want to visit, especially financial sites.