Friday, October 5, 2007

PayPal: Phishing, Fundraising, And In The Lab

you sick and tired of phishing attacks, those fraudulent emails
designed to look like trusted corporations but aimed at stealing your
personal account information? Today Yahoo (YHOO), together with eBay
(EBAY) and its PayPal unit, started to roll out an authentication technology
called DomainKeys that supposedly blocks malicious, fake eBay and
PayPal messages from being delivered into the inboxes of Yahoo Mail
users by allowing Internet Service Providers to automatically decide if
messages should be delivered.

Speaking of PayPal, the company has teamed up with News Corp.’s (NWS) MySpace
to “virally fundraise” for nonprofits and politicians on
the social networking site. PayPal has developed “fundraising
badges,” which are basically widgets that are a bit fancier than
the typical PayPal “donate” button that could be copied
onto any site to inspire philantrophy via the Internet.

The widget, which can be found on over 20 charity and politician
profiles on MySpace, makes it easy for site visitors to donate money to
their chosen cause. Once users donate funds, their name is added to a
scrolling list that includes the names of other supporters of the
particular campaign. Since each of these widgets can be copied and
pasted into any user profile, web site or blog, the idea is that the
badges will spread virally and subsequently increase the amount of
funds raised. To encourage the viral effect to take place, the widget
also displays a “supporter tree” that tracks the users who
have added the tools to their profiles, and how much each person has

The fundraising widget was created in “PayPal Labs,”
a new division of the company designed to look for innovative and
creative ways to leverage the online payment service. Launched today,
the PayPal Labs site (which can be found at also describes a Facebook app that can be used to send and get money from friends.

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