Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Dec 31 2015 10:43:37

eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay sent a mass email this morning advising users to update their personal information with the subject line, "Help us protect your account."

The email led to confusion and concern from eBay users who had to reset their passwords last year as a result of a security breach. 

"I have never gotten a message like this from eBay," one reader wrote to EcommerceBytes. "Is this something new you are aware of? I know they did something like this when they got hacked last year. Oh please tell me it hasn't happened again?!?!?"

Here's the text of the email eBay sent:

Is your personal info up to date, (name)?
Get a higher level of protection

Hi (name),
It's been more than a year since you last updated your personal info.
Keeping your personal info up to date can help better protect your account.
Sound like a good idea? All you have to do is go to eBay and take a look at your personal info to confirm that it's still correct. If you updated your personal info recently, please ignore this reminder.
Protect your account
Sincerely, 
The eBay Accounts Team

The email included a link to a log-in page, a practice that some security experts frown on since fraudsters include links to fake log-in pages in phishing emails.

eBay failed to put an announcement on its website about the email and chose a questionable day to send it. Many eBay employees are likely on break due to the New Year's holiday, meaning there are fewer staff on hand to respond to users who have questions about the email.

The email is different from the one it sent in May 2014 when it required all eBay users to change their passwords - here's a link to the announcement board post from last year.

We have a request in to eBay's PR department about the reason behind the email and will update this post as warranted.




Comments (23) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 31 10:54:39 2015

I never got this message. But then again, when I check my email and I see I have a message from eBay, I usually just delete it!

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Dec 31 11:10:01 2015

I'm not Toolguy and rarely have a nice thing to say about eBay, but it sounds like they might be encouraging people to make sure their email address and physical address are current. Maybe eBay had a increase in sellers complaining that they're getting messages and packages kicked back to them because of bad information from buyers.

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Thu Dec 31 11:24:50 2015

Looks like some people assumed it was a phishing email and trashed it. Glad to see people are skeptical about clicking on a link in an email to sign in to a website!

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Dec 31 11:30:36 2015

I clicked on the link, it brought me to a page asking me to confirm my phone number by clicking on it.

I STOPPED at that point and went no further. They had the right number but I didn't have time to update any personal info.

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

by: queenfloraday This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 31 11:56:51 2015

Had a return on Amazon because a buyer had not updated his mailing address due to a USPS branch closing and the USPS said undeliverable. Notified buyer for new address. The buyer gave me a bad review even though the book was returned to me and I resent the book at my expense. I think all of these companies should send reminders periodically to update accounts.  

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

by: Ephemera Dealer This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 31 11:58:18 2015

I never click on links in emails, never. Just a very bad idea.

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Thu Dec 31 12:21:04 2015

Curiously, I received a PayPal payment for a sale that was not recorded. When I contacted PayPal and eBay to confirm the sale I was reminded by CS that eBay and PayPal send notices through their site messaging services and do not use outside email services like Yahoo, Google, GMail, etc. concerning financial matters. Of course that's not literally and 100% true [PayPal ISNAD returns messages are handled outside PayPal] but now I forward ALL emails purporting to originate from PayPal or eBay to their phishing department. Odds are they'll identify their own messages as "not genuine" and "highly suspect" but that's been true about monthly Seller update eBay messages for years.  

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Dec 31 12:21:37 2015

My notice came from eBay messages.

That's why I clicked on it. . .

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Dec 31 15:32:43 2015

I don't care who the email is from, I NEVER use a link inside of an email to update any important / guarded information.  I ALWAYS go directly to the website, login as normal and from there correct or add anything I need to.  

I never thought this was a phishing email, it just scared the heck out of me as it was so similar to the one sent when they were hacked last year.  While I do agree a reminder like this has value, to just start sending them without any type of announcement as to why was a bit unnerving.  I've been selling on Ebay since 1999 and with the exception of the hacking, they have never done this before.

I just think it is a good personal policy to have to NEVER use a link to update any financial or personal information.

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Thu Dec 31 23:05:02 2015

I like to avoid email links, too.

Since I updated info this spring, the ''Its been more than a year....'' part has a form letter feel to it.  

Why not a brief: ''This is a Reminder...  Make sure your settings are current''

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

by: StickAForkInIT This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 1 00:24:37 2016

I have one selling account registered at my business address, and one registered at my home address (phone #'s also) … and this is giving eBay fits.   I guess they just can't imagine someone legitimately having more than one address.

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Fri Jan 1 00:31:51 2016

Anyone who clicks on a link to an email is a fool just asking to be wrenched into leaving their computer opened to a virus that can steal all of your info.

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 1 09:19:50 2016

Isn't eBay constantly telling us not to click on embedded links?

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 1 11:11:18 2016

Got the message , ignored it , then screen started jumping around. Shut it down & ran scans , unplugged from the net. Things seem OK now , scans revealed nothing useful. Guess more glitch from ? dang , cant even do research without hassle. You scare my puter deadbay.

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sat Jan 2 15:47:30 2016

ZERO emails from Ebay.

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 4 00:47:36 2016

I have 2 ebay accounts. The daily one that has about 5,000 feedback and the somewhat abandoned one with about 350 feedback that I use once every couple of months. I only got that email for the low feedback account.  

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

by: Garcia This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 4 01:02:22 2016

Buyers often forget to update info when something changes and the seller sends the package to the wrong address.  The only problem is that the email was more like a phishing expedition than a valid request, so I always delete which I did.  But I think it is necessary for personal information especially addresses to be kept up to date for everyone's sake.

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

by: tb This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 4 01:06:20 2016

Yeah, bad move by eBay. They should have directed people to go to their accounts and after logging on, THEN show a message asking people to check settings. Dumb.

Having said that, understanding domain names is NOT rocket science, and I have never had a problem looking at a link and telling where it is coming from, so the rule to never click on a link applies to those that don't understand how URLs are formatted.

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

by: Santini This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 4 04:52:36 2016

I never got this message.

Perminate Link for eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users   eBay Sends Mass Security Warning to Users

by: toyman This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 4 10:35:52 2016

Yeah, I did the same as most others. I checked out everything I could about the email and it did look genuine, but when I clicked through and it wanted more info, I deleted it and went to eBay Messages to see if it had also come through there.

eBay didn't really think this one through very far.

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