Is PayPal safe?

Bobby is trying to buy a gift online, and the only payment option offered is PayPal.


Bobby is trying to buy a gift online, and isn’t sure whether PayPal, the only payment option offered, is safe. We explain the service and whether it’s safe to use.

Q. Bobby 

I want to buy a gift for my wife’s birthday and I’ve found something that is perfect for her, but the online store will only accept PayPal. I’ve tried contacting them to arrange an alternative payment method but they will not make any exceptions. Is PayPal safe to use? 

A. Hi Bobby, to answer your question simply, PayPal is relatively safe to use. 

All forms of online shopping incur some risk, but PayPal is currently one of the safest payment methods available, especially for buyers. According to the website, PayPal's loss rate is ‘significantly lower than the industry average’. The service also processes more than 9 million payments every day.

One of the reasons PayPal is safe for buyers is that rather than providing your credit card details to every online store with which you shop, you can supply it once to PayPal, and not have to worry about the security and reliability of each individual website from which you purchase.

One drawback of this is that the PayPal website itself becomes a very large target for hackers; however, the website also has a lot at stake and a security breach would be devastating for its business. For this reason, Paypal uses state-of-the-art encryption and security.

The PayPal website states:

“PayPal automatically encrypts your confidential information in transit from your computer to ours using the Secure Sockets Layer protocol (SSL) with an encryption key length of 128-bits (the highest level commercially available). Before you even register or log in to the PayPal site, our server checks that you're using an approved browser – one that uses SSL 3.0 or higher.

Once your information reaches the PayPal site, it resides on a server that is heavily guarded both physically and electronically. PayPal servers sit behind an electronic firewall and are not directly connected to the internet, so your private information is available only to authorized computers.” 

I have been using PayPal for online shopping for years, and the only problems I’ve ever encountered arose from the 45-day time limit to dispute a transaction.

This rule meant that no matter what the situation, if you hadn’t reported a transaction within 45-days from when you sent the money, you could do nothing to get your money back. This caused a lot of problems due to international shipping times; however, as of November 2014, this time period is now 180 days, leaving ample time for Australian buyers to dispute a transaction if they wish. 

Caution is always advisable when money is concerned, but using PayPal seems to be one of the safer options available for online shopping. 

Read more on the PayPal website.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    4th Jul 2017
    I use paypal and have never had a problem. However I don't use a credit card. I Use a travel money card and keep the balance low, so if there is a problem there nothing much too lose.
    4th Jul 2017
    I have had many transactions over the years using PayPal and never had a problem, a lot of sites are now using PayPal which I think is GREAT
    4th Jul 2017
    Me too, very happy with PayPal
    4th Jul 2017
    I use PayPal regularly and have never had a problem. One distinct advantage of using PayPal is that if you purchase on-line, and there is a fault with the item or it is not received, you can contact PayPal and they will arrange for full refund of the amount paid.

    Because of this, I will only use PayPal when buying online.
    4th Jul 2017
    I have used paypal for years. I love it for a couple of simple things. If you use your credit card it is hidden from whoever you are buying from.

    The best is (have you ever tried stopping periodic payments from you credit card) That using it to pay periodic payments it it easy to stop payments coming from your credit card or bank account. I have had times when I have phoned the banks and tried to stop and they keep refering me back to the business that are automatically taking the payments which is a problem if you keep requesting that they stop and they don't.

    With paypal you simple stopit in Paypal. That fixes them.
    4th Jul 2017
    By the way you can still use paypal to pay by credit card even if you do not have a paypal account.
    4th Jul 2017
    If the banks give you a hard time stopping periodic payments. Tell them you want to close your account, that usually makes them pay attention. If it doesnt work close it and go to a bank that will listen to you. The banks work for you not you for them!
    4th Jul 2017
    I have been using PayPal for more than 10 years now and I have never had a problem. I'm pleased to see it's being adopted by more and more sites.
    4th Jul 2017
    I have been using PayPal for more than 10 years now and I have never had a problem. I'm pleased to see it's being adopted by more and more sites.
    4th Jul 2017
    I wanted to buy some Naphthalene flakes and I paid for them but the seller told me they could not supply -- but never paid me -- PayPal chased them up and go me my money back, this has happened twice for me when a seller reneged on the sale and Pay Pal got my mney back for me
    4th Jul 2017
    Yes some vendors are stupid. They should know that someone paying with Paypal would eventually go to Paypal to resolve it. The reason they end up paying because Paypal is quite strict and would close their account.
    8th Oct 2017
    Actually Wstation, Paypay came to me and went after my money of their volition
    5th Jul 2017
    As with Casey, I use PayPal and the Travel Mondy (debit) Card and keep the balance low. If I were to ever get hacked or lose money, it is not connected to my CC. That limits any possible losses.

    6th Jul 2017
    Hello friends do you need a loan to start your own business or having trouble with debt ? if yes you need a loan. you can contact BOOST CAPITAL via email ( i just got my loan from them right now this company are legit loan Leander thank you.


    31st Jul 2017
    thanks for sharing.
    I also like to make purchase via PayPal.
    2 years I had some problems when I tried to pay for essay writer service. But now is ok!

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