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Protecting yourself from account or identity theft

Keeping your personal information secure is one of our top priorities. You can help us protect your eBay account from unauthorized access. Here are important steps you can take to prevent others from gaining access to your account and personal information.

Keep your account details secure
Choose your user ID and password carefully, and make sure your password and secret question are difficult to guess. Don't use the same sign-in information for several online accounts. If others can access one of your accounts, they can access your other accounts as well.
Use these tips to choose a secure user ID, password, and secret question.
Account information Tips

User ID

  • Choose a user ID that isn't related to your email address or other online accounts. This helps keep all your online accounts secure.

  • If necessary, change your user ID.


  • Choose a secure password that's difficult for others to guess. Change your password every 30 to 60 days.

  • If necessary, change your password.

Secret question

  • Choose a secret question that you can answer easily but others can't easily guess. If someone can answer your secret question, they might be able to reset your password.

  • If you don't have a secret question, you can create one. If you already have a secret question, you can change it.

Tip: For added password-protection, consider using the PayPal Security Key, a portable credit card-sized device. The PayPal Security Key generates a unique 6-digit security code for you to add to your password when you sign in to eBay.
Beware of spoof emails and websites
Spoof (fake) emails attempt to mimic legitimate eBay emails. The people who send these messages hope you'll click a link in the email and provide sensitive personal information, such as your eBay account information, Social Security number, or credit card number.
If you receive suspicious email, don't click any links in the message. Learn how to recognize and report spoof email and spoof websites.

Monitor your account for suspicious activity
Check My eBay and your preferences from time to time to make sure no one has used your account or made any unauthorized changes. If you see anything out of the ordinary, report it to us right away and act quickly to secure your account and protect yourself from identity theft.

Install and update online protection software
Learn about online protection software to understand how you can protect your computer's data against unauthorized access.
Software type How it can help protect you

Antivirus software

Computer viruses are software programs designed to interfere with your computer operations, such as corrupting or deleting data, and can sometimes spread themselves to other computers. Emails are a frequent carrier of these viruses. Antivirus software that is kept up to date and is used regularly to scan your computer can help prevent and repair issues caused by these viruses.

Spyware protection

Spyware is software that's downloaded to your computer without your knowledge, and can be used to collect personal information, steal your passwords, and record your Internet use. Spyware protection software is designed to detect and remove spyware installed on your computer, as well as block incoming threats.

Internet firewalls

Firewalls control the flow of information between your computer and the Internet. Using a hardware or software firewall helps prevent unauthorized people from accessing information stored on your computer.

Help us verify your identify
We use a number of techniques to protect your account from unauthorized access. One way is to check whether you're using one of your usual computers to access your account.
If you're using a different computer than usual—for example, at the office or at a friend's house—we'll require some additional verification before you list an item.
To help us quickly and easily confirm your identity, we suggest you:
  • Check that your personal information is current. We might need to verify the personal information in your account, such as your telephone number or address.

  • Provide a secondary phone number. We strongly suggest you provide a cell phone number, so we can reach you while you're on the go.

  • Review your secret question. Make sure your secret question and answer are easy for you to remember, but difficult for others to guess.

Contact Customer Service

If you have an additional question about this subject, email us at Customer Service.
If you would like to ask a question on another subject, please use the Contact Us page.

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