The start of the new year is a great time to sit down and get serious about creating a budget.
Millions of Americans use free personal finance apps like Mint.com to track their spending, but many people still have reservations about whether it’s safe to link bank accounts with these tools.
Understandably, the Equifax data breach in September 2017 has only made people more cautious.
Clark’s take: Should you trust Mint.com?
Money expert Clark Howard frequently gets calls on his radio show from people who want to know if Mint and other budgeting tools are safe to use.
Clark says there’s no such thing as a hack-proof website, but he’s still a fan of Mint.com:
I’m asked repeatedly about Mint, how safe is it? We live in an era where no matter what encryption level people are using, whatever security, there are vulnerabilities in the system. That’s possible. But what I know is that the power of these tools to help you get your spending under control is so great that I think that power outweighs the risk of the potential vulnerabilities of any financial tool or any site or any app.
Listen to Clark talk about Mint.com security on The Clark Howard Show Podcast
Personal finance apps like Mint need your login user name and passwords to organize and manage your accounts.
“Login user name and passwords are stored securely in a separate database using multi-layered hardware and software encryption,” Mint said on its security FAQ page.
Mint, which comes from the makers of TurboTax and QuickBooks, also uses multi-factor authentication.
To protect your account, Mint suggests that you create strong passwords, never share your passwords, use virus protection and a firewall on your computer, and don’t install programs from unknown sources.
Do you need Clark’s help with a money-related issue? You can submit a question online at Clark.com/Ask.
Team Clark’s guide to save more and spend less in 2018:
- How to save $2,018 in 2018 with the New Year’s money challenge
- Save 2 full paychecks in 2018 with this simple budgeting trick
- My 7 best money-saving tips for 2018
- Save thousands in 2018 starting with just one $5 bill
- Budgeting with cash: How to make the envelope method work in 2018