Is eBay Safe To Use With a Debit Card? eBay’s Security Pros and Cons
Founded in 1995, eBay® is one of the oldest and most successful online marketplaces. Today, it has over 130 million active buyers globally and offers a vast collection of new and used items, sold via auction or using a fixed price format.
Despite eBay being a household name, users may be wary of giving away their card or bank information due to the prevalence and devastating effects of data breaches and other cyber threats that are common with online retailers. While eBay takes security measures to prevent such occurrences, there’s plenty you can and should do to increase the safety of your sensitive data.
In this guide, you can learn more about eBay and get answers to questions such as:
- Is eBay safe to use with a debit card?
- What security risks should you be aware of as an eBay user?
- What are concrete steps you can take to protect your financial data while shopping on eBay?
Is It Safe To Use a Debit Card on eBay?
The long history and the sheer number of users can attest to eBay’s security. The company employs various measures to prevent unauthorized access and disclosure of data, including:
- Network security services (NSS)
- Restriction of physical access to data centers
- Automated access control for data and systems
eBay never reveals your card information to sellers. Another indication of eBay’s commitment to safety is its buyer and seller protection programs. Buyers may request a refund in case of damaged, undelivered, or ill-advertised goods, whereas sellers get protection in case of abusive buyer behavior or events outside their control, such as carrier or weather delays.
While eBay is generally safe, you should know that no online merchant can guarantee the complete safety of your data. Cybercriminals have various tactics for obtaining sensitive information from users, so you should become familiar with them and do everything you can to protect yourself.
Potential Risks eBay Users Should Be Aware Of
Common threats you should be aware of when shopping on e-commerce platforms such as eBay include:
- Data breaches
- Account takeover
- Fraudulent sellers or buyers
While eBay hasn’t had any officially confirmed data breaches recently, the possibility is always present with any online merchant since hackers are constantly developing their tactics for stealing users’ data. Be it through a data leak or by exploiting security vulnerabilities, cybercriminals could potentially access sensitive user information stored on eBay’s servers, including debit card numbers.
Another way hackers can acquire card information is through account takeover. They may use methods such as dictionary or brute force attacks, credential stuffing, and keylogging to find out your password and enter your account. If successful, they can access more sensitive data and sell it online or use it to impersonate you.
Phishing occurs when the perpetrator contacts you by text, email, or phone pretending to be a legitimate entity, such as eBay. They typically require you to take immediate action, such as providing specific information or downloading an attachment infected with malware.
In the context of eBay, the perpetrator may:
- Tell you that your card was denied and that they need you to resend the details
- Promote a once-in-a-lifetime deal and ask for your data to secure it
- Direct you to a fake eBay website containing malicious code that can fetch your data
Fraudulent Sellers or Buyers
In some cases, other users on eBay may attempt to scam you. For instance, fraudulent sellers may request that you pay them outside of eBay’s platform or ask for additional shipping fees. In such cases, you may end up losing the payment and the product, but it might also result in your card information getting stolen.
Is It Safer To Pay on eBay With a Credit Card or a Debit Card?
As consumer debit and credit cards are regulated by different laws, they have slightly different fraud protection terms. Learn about them in the table below: