Tom Olzak

Privacy Tip — Using VIP Access at PayPal

In iPhone, Multi-Factor Authentication, One Time Passwords, Privacy on September 24, 2009 at 13:02

Today I tried to load and activate VIP Access on my iPhone.  The app loaded OK from the app store, but finding the page on PayPal where I could activate it was another story.

For those of you out of the loop, VIP Access provides a means to use your iPhone as a second authentication factor.  When installed, the software provides a different six-digit code every 30 seconds.  This code is used to verify your identity at sites supporting this VeriSign identity management technology—like PayPal.  See Figure 1.

Figure 1

Figure 1

 Installing and launching the free software on my iPhone 3GS was easy.  The first screen included a video and other information about how to use the service.  So, having lost my VIP “football” for PayPal, I was anxious to try this out.  That was where the fun began.

There are no references to this service on PayPal.  Neither searching nor browsing turned up anything useful.  Finally, I searched Google and found someone who had solved this lack-of-information challenge by actually sending a message to PayPal. 

It turns out VIP Access activation uses the same link used to activate the VIP token, as shown in Figure 2.

In the activation form, enter the VIP Access Credential ID into the Serial Number field.  The rest of the form is self-explanatory.  After jumping the activation hurdle, everything worked as advertised.

Figure 2

Figure 2

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