By March 1, 2007

PayPal and eBay Security Key Activation

I’ve been interested in PayPal’s Security Key system ever since it was announced January 15th of this year. The Key became available about a month ago, and I received mine in the mail last week.

The Security Key generates a unique six digit code every thirty seconds. I am pretty sure it uses the same SecurID technology we used years ago when I worked on the Web site. The PayPal fob is about an inch and a half long and is shaped like a football. There’s a small LCD screen and a push button used for generating a key.

Activation is easy and took about two minutes. You must activate the fob at PayPal and eBay separately, but the procedure is the same.
PayPal’s activation page.
eBay’s activation page.
The first step is entering the serial number on the back of the fob. You then press the code request button on the fob, and a six digit code is generated — enter the code into the Web form. After the code disappears, press the request button again and type in the second code. That’s it! The fob must be used in conjunction with your username and password from here onward. If you lose the fob there is a way to log in, but it is not very easy and requires knowledge of your account.

After activating the fob, logging into eBay or PayPal has an extra step. I logged into PayPal as normal with my username and password, then came to this screen:

I hit the key request button on the fob, typed in my six digit code, and was in. Very simple.

The Security Key represents a more secure way of protecting one’s digital privacy and finances. The security triad is: “who you are, what you have, and what you know.” Thanks to my PayPal username, password, and the keyfob, I feel very very safe against someone gaining access to my PayPal or eBay accounts without my consent.

The PayPal Security Key is available for $5 shipped from

Posted in: review, technology

1 Comment on "PayPal and eBay Security Key Activation"

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  1. Bond says:

    You won’t be so happy when these things start to become “aware”, now that they are in every house-hold.

    Seriously though, that’s a great system, very hard to beat. I do remember using them for the Coke account FTP login.