Skip to Content

PayPal Security Challenge (Complete 2023 Guide)

Disclaimer: This content is not intended to be financial advice and is for informational purposes only. aTimeforCash is reader-supported. We may earn commissions if you buy through our links at no cost to you.

PayPal security and the company’s transaction infrastructure have been an ongoing concern for those who use the service. 

PayPal uses security challenges to help them identify ​users who may be participating in fraudulent transactions or maybe trying to inflate the amount of funds in their accounts artificially. 

With proper knowledge, such as this challenge provides, you can protect your PayPal account by learning what to do and what not to do while using it.

This post covers everything about the PayPal security challenge and what sort of information is available on this significant event from PayPal itself and other sources.

PayPal on a smartphone by a keyboard
Everything you need to know about the PayPal security challenge.

In This Post:

What is PayPal Security Challenge?

PayPal security challenge is an additional security system used by PayPal to protect its users and their accounts.

After inputting your password, the challenge requires you to enter a six-digit code into your account.

If you fail to answer the security check question in the given time or mistype, your account will be temporarily locked.

However, if you answer the question correctly within 30 seconds, you will be able to access your account without any hindrances.

With this security feature, PayPal protects its customers from unauthorized access and accounts takeover by cybercriminals. Furthermore, it also keeps sensitive information secure such as bank details and credit card details of users.

Another way to protect your account from criminals is not to share your password or PIN with anyone.

Furthermore, you should always keep your username and password private and never share them with unapproved people.

This will help prevent other users from being able to access your account in case they get to know the details. Therefore, you should always practice good internet security habits, such as using strong passwords and avoiding phishing attacks.

The PayPal security challenge is also a useful tool because it enables users to remain protected while they are away from their accounts. Therefore, when you log in to your account during the challenge process, you have unlimited time to answer the question correctly.

Furthermore, this security feature also minimizes the occurrence of fraudulent activities. This is because users can protect their accounts from unauthorized access even when they are not present.

PayPal Security Challenge Questions

The PayPal security challenge questions help verify your identity as an account holder. Therefore, they are used to confirm your ownership and keep your account secure. 

The challenge questions will have different answers depending on the country you belong to and the language in which you answered them. Furthermore, it also depends on whether you registered with a credit card or a debit card.

After logging into your account, you should never forget that the time allotted for answering PayPal security challenge questions is only 30 seconds.

Therefore, you should be careful and make sure that you have properly read the question to answer them correctly. Another thing is that you should make sure you are not under any pressure when answering the questions.

Your account will be temporarily locked if you fail to answer the PayPal security challenge question within 30 seconds. However, if you unlock your account using a valid credit card or debit card within 180 days, it will reopen.

How Does the PayPal Security Challenge Work?

The PayPal security challenge works through the code generated when you register. The security challenge code also uses numbers and special characters to prevent you from copying and pasting.

This is especially important because hacking techniques are used to send you a message that looks like the one sent to your friend. With this, hackers can trick users into thinking that their friend received a message from them. Furthermore, after getting your friend’s phone number, they will use it to send them a message.

However, to prevent you from falling victim to such a scam, PayPal generates a new and unique code for each user every time they log in. Therefore, no one can send you the security challenge text message.

PayPal also sends a notification to your phone every time you receive an email related to your account and security.

However, if the email or text message sent by PayPal is not genuine and contains links or any other kind of code, you should delete it immediately. With this step, you can protect yourself against hackers trying to send links that lead you to a phishing website or install malware into your device.

How To Get Rid Of The Security Challenges On PayPal (Step-By-Step) On the PayPal Website

  • Step 1 – You cannot see your PayPal account on the main page of your PayPal account. You will have to go to your account and try to log in. Because of the security check, you may not be able to log into your account.
  • Step 2 – Select one of PayPal’s options to confirm your identity.  Click “Next” and follow the instructions PayPal gives you to finish the process.
  • Step 3 – Your security challenge will be complete, and you can go back to the main page of your PayPal account. PayPal is a top-rated service among online merchants. Millions of people use this service daily to pay for their online items and services. If the user has to complete a security check every time he logged in, it will be irritating.

Avoiding The PayPal Security Challenges On PayPal

People can struggle to avoid security issues and obstacles when dealing with PayPal. We are here to help you overcome those challenges and get a smoother experience using PayPal.

People have been having problems with the security features of PayPal in recent times. Perhaps they could be using a new device or have changed their operating system too often. Despite these challenges, some solutions can help people remain safe on PayPal without any difficulties:

1. Set up 2-Step Verification for your account: If you’re in Australia, Canada, or the U.S, etc., we recommend setting up your account for 2-Step Verification through your financial provider as soon as possible.

2. Verification can be required for many different reasons: PayPal may require verification if you’re creating a new account or if you’ve been inactive on your account for six months. Security information will be requested, and you’ll need to answer a security question to prevent malicious access to your account. If you can’t verify your identity, PayPal has the right to close your account.

3. Rest assured that funds are secure in a PayPal account: As long as your password is kept secret and secure and you don’t lose access to the device used to log in, your funds will be safe.

4. Create a separate email address for PayPal: If your main email address is hacked, using a different one for PayPal will help protect your finances. You can also install a secure browser for the PayPal site and never share the password with anyone else.

5. Don’t use the same password you use on other accounts: If someone gets access to your account through guessing, hacking, or brute-force methods, they can make numerous changes to your account and even change your password. 

They might also be able to gain access to all of your other websites if you’re using the same password there too.

6. Make sure that only the people you want can access your account: If someone manages to get through security and access your account, they can potentially take over all of your finances. 

However, if you only give immediate access to certain people-family members, friends, or business partners-they won’t be able to do anything, and you’ll still be safe.

7. Update your operating system and software regularly: These are critical for protecting your account from any intrusion. You may want to install a software firewall and make sure there are no backdoors open that aren’t being used by anything else.

8. Be sure to change your password before leaving the old device behind: After changing the password on PayPal, you should log out of PayPal on the old device. It’s also essential to remove any credit cards or bank accounts connected to PayPal from this device.

9. Report any suspicious activity immediately: If you see transactions or messages that don’t look right, you should look into them further. PayPal requires SSL encryption, which means that your data is secure while it’s being transferred. 

This means that account numbers and other sensitive information will never be visible to anyone else.

10. Use a secure browser when logging on: Using an internet browser like Firefox or Chrome will ensure that your login details are never sent out in an unencrypted format. This means that hackers won’t be able to spy on you when you’re typing in passwords or other sensitive information online.

11. Only allow access to your computer from known devices: Users should have one computer they use for PayPal transactions. This should be a dedicated machine that isn’t used for anything else. PayPal also recommends using the latest operating system, security software, and web browsers available.

A reminder: PayPal will never ask for your password or banking details via email. Always be wary of any emails that ask for any personal details.

Why Does PayPal Keep Giving Me a Security Challenge?

The security challenge is not a scam. PayPal will always let you know how to resolve the security challenge if you visit the associated web page (the URL can be found on your account details at PayPal).

The security challenge acts as a safety gate to protect your account from fraud. This is because anyone with legitimate access to your PayPal account would be able to pass through the security challenge without any issues.

It’s essential to keep your PayPal account safe, and security challenges help protect your account from fraud. Security challenges can occur if PayPal suspects you’ve committed fraudulent activity. 

Suppose a security challenge occurs on any of your accounts. In that case, you receive an e-mail notifying you that there is a problem and asking you to provide additional information to verify your identity.

If you suspect that someone has taken over or accessed your account or has gotten ahold of your password, we suggest you change your password and contact the Paypal Customer Support team immediately.

Why Is This Happening?

There are several reasons why PayPal may be contacting you with a security challenge. Some of the most common reasons are:

The security challenge may be related to a chargeback or a dispute you filed with us but not resolved. If you’d like more information about the reason for the security challenge, you can log into your PayPal account to review your recent history and review your payment details.

Your account is part of a security investigation. A security investigation will only occur if PayPal suspects fraud or other illegal activity from your account. In this type of investigation, you will be contacted if you’re receiving repeated security challenges from our employees and automated systems and if another activity in your account seems inconsistent with what we believe to be normal behavior for you.

You or someone else is trying to access your account from an unrecognized device or location. PayPal will ask you to confirm that you are accessing your account legitimately. You can do this by entering a code we send to your mobile phone or logging in from an alternate device.

What if I Have Problems Disabling the PayPal Security Challenge?

Many people have been reporting that they can’t disable the PayPal Security Challenge, and there doesn’t seem to be a definite answer as to why this is happening. But there are some ways around it. 

If you still experience problems with disabling the PayPal Security Challenge after following these tips, then make sure to reach out to PayPal directly through their “contact us” page.


  • The issue could be an issue with your browser settings – try closing all open browser tabs and restarting your browser; if this doesn’t work, please contact your system administrator or web browser, developer.
  • The issue could be an issue with your security software; don’t hesitate to get in touch with the software developer for assistance.
  • The issue could be an issue with your anti-spam solution. Please disable the security feature on your anti-spam solution for 3 days and attempt to disable the challenge again. If this doesn’t work, contact the software provider for assistance.
  • Make sure you’ve submitted a valid email notification. If your PayPal account is in good standing, they’re legally required to keep the password reset form active. If it’s not in good standing and you’ve already submitted a request for assistance, they may not be able to help. Once you’ve submitted a valid email notification, try disabling the PayPal Security Challenge as follows.
  • Make sure your browser is set to “accept cookies.”

You can’t completely disable the Paypal security challenge without accepting cookies. Therefore, please make sure your browser is set to accept cookies. Go to Tools > Internet Options > Privacy and check the “Override automatic cookie handling” box.

The option will only work if you have an account with PayPal that you’re logged into at the moment. If you still don’t see the option after logging in, then it’s possible that your account is flagged as a high-risk account and doesn’t have cookie control available anymore.

To fix this, go to and click on “log in,” and create a temporary password for your account if it’s not an account you’re currently logged into. 

After you’ve created a temporary password, you’ll be prompted to enter your credit card number for identity verification purposes. Once this is completed, log in to your PayPal account using the temporary password. This should re-enable cookie control for you.

What NOT to do

  • Don’t cancel your PayPal account — PayPal says that once you’ve submitted an email notification to them, their fraud team has a legal duty to keep the password reset form active.

Is There a Risk For Turning Off the PayPal Security Challenge?

We often have people ask us if it’s possible to turn off the challenge in PayPal. The answer is no, not without disabling your account and the other accounts you may associate with that same email address. But don’t worry. There are ways to protect your information and ensure that you’re always protected.

Even though the PayPal Security Challenge is a security tool with its risks, there is a chance for hackers to gain access to your personal information by creating fake challenges. 

By turning off the challenge, you may be leaving yourself open to potential identity theft or other online fraud. We recommend that you leave it on and monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity.

With this in mind, many worry that turning off the PayPal Security Challenge may open them up to an increased risk of cybercrime. But what are the risks?

The security of your PayPal account depends on many factors, but it is important not to fear the PayPal Security Challenge. While there is some risk to turning off the security challenge, it does not mean you should completely disregard PayPal’s security tool. 

How to Fix the Security Challenge Loop with PayPal

A vulnerability allows thieves to steal login details so that an attacker can gain access to your PayPal account. You enter this information into the website and are redirected back to a warning screen. 

This repeats itself over and over again until you abandon the login attempt, thus creating a security challenge loop.

If this sounds familiar, there is a simple fix that will stop the cycle of security challenges, giving users peace of mind. Follow these instructions to fix it.

Step 1: Locate the information line

PayPal’s ‘Security Challenge’ loop can be frustrating for users, but there is a fairly simple solution. When you are on a page where you are prompted to submit personal details, click the small PayPal Security Question logo in the top right corner of the browser window. 

This will give you access to the information line, and from here, it is possible to unblock your account.

Step 2: Unlocking Your Account

To unlock your PayPal account, provide your email address and follow this with your account details (username and password). Choose “I forgot my password” or “I need help with my account.” Once this information has been provided, PayPal profile details can be entered.

Step 3: Fixing the Security Challenge Loop

After the correct verification has been set, the PayPal Security Question and Answer Screen should unblock you, taking you to the main PayPal website. 

By continuing to access PayPal websites after having fixed this security challenge loop, you are still vulnerable to more security challenges. Follow these suggestions below to stay safe:

  • Don’t use a proxy server (if you do use one, do not keep it permanently active, as this can make it difficult for PayPal to identify if your IP address has moved).
  • When buying or selling items on eBay, look for the “register to complete a PayPal buy or sell for free” button. This will allow you to participate in the eBay Buying and Selling platforms free of charge.
  • When doing web searches, avoid using Hotmail, Yahoo, and other email services. It is better to use an internet service provider (ISP) if you have these accounts.
  • Use password managers such as LastPass or 1Password.
  • For additional security, use two-factor authentication. Your account login details are sent through text message instead of by email. It’s important to remember that this service is not available everywhere else.

Step 4: Preparation to Fix the Security Challenge Loop with PayPal

To make sure the fix is applied, close the browser and relaunch. For example, if you want to unblock PayPal on your iPhone, you should do this by closing your browser, clicking ‘Safari’ at the top of your Apple iOS home screen, and then clicking on Settings. 

Scroll down until you see ‘Passwords & Accounts’ and tap on it to open your Passwords & Accounts settings page. Scroll down until you see ‘iCloud’ and tap on it to open your iCloud settings page. Once the PayPal login screen appears, you can resume browsing.

Wrapping Up

This security challenge was focused on finding and reporting vulnerabilities in PayPal’s web applications. Only people with a PayPal Security Badge were allowed to submit such security vulnerabilities. 

This challenge was announced two days after a major security issue from their database servers. The administrators of these servers could not secure this event, which caused problems for many users who had subscribed to their services. 

PayPal released a statement apologizing in the following days. They called this incident the type of security issue that happens once in a blue moon.