Mint Review – How Secure is it?

mint reviewMint.com has quickly become the hippest personal finance management website. In some ways Mint competes with Mvelopes, the online budgeting program that helps you to allocate your money before you spend it, but Mint does a bit more. It makes managing your money fun while taking almost all of the work out of it. In five minutes you can open an account, enter your bank and credit card info, and you are done. Mint will pull all of your balance and transaction information and provides great graphic detail of your financial life.

Not only does Mint break down your spending behavior, it will alert you when your balance is low, when a bill is due or when you have overspent your budget. But wait, there’s more! Mint.com also give you personalized money savings tips based on how you are spending your money.

But is Mint Secure?

Mint consolidates all your accounts, creates pretty pictures and offers great advice based on all of the financial data it has pulled from your accounts. That’s great, except you have to give them your bank account numbers and passwords to all your financial accounts. All it takes is one smart hacker to get access to your Mint account to see all your personal finance data. Are you comfortable with that?

You can feel confident that your data with Mint.com is safe. After you enter your banking information in your account, your user names and passwords cannot be viewed in any way. Your data is not stored in any way, and financial transactions cannot be made with Mint. That means Mint employees and Mint hackers will never have access to this information.

Mint.com also uses Yodlee, the same online banking service provider that is used by leading US financial institutions. You can feel confident your account is safe and sound with Yodlee, as they are audited by the FDIC and the Federal Reserve, among others.

If you have multiple bank and credit card accounts, which most people do, Mint.com can actually provide an extra level of security. Since it is unlikely for you to check all of your accounts on a daily basis for unusual transactions, Mint can provide a one-stop-shop to view all accounts. You can even create alerts for Mint to inform you of suspicious activity and changes in account balances.

For more information on Mint.com’s security, visit the Is Mint Really Secure forums. Otherwise, another popular option is to test drive Mvelopes program for free.

Millionaire Money Habits: It is tough to build wealth if you can’t keep your money. While the many personal finance software programs that exist can simplify your life and help you achieve your financial goals, make sure your identity and account information is safe and secure.

16 Responses to Mint Review – How Secure is it?

  1. Momma says:

    I absolutely LOVE Mint.com. I’ve recommended it to everyone I know. It has made my life much easier. I’m part of the beta test group for their investment tracking too, so not only are all of my bank accounts and my credit card (the only one) in one place, now I can see my 401k transactions too. It’s the best tool I’ve used for tracking, ever.

  2. Bill says:

    I have been using Mint for about 9 months now and really like it. I have also been using a direct competitor of theirs for nearly the same amount of time – Yodlee. Yep, that’s right the same service that mint uses actually provides a consumer facing website that offers many of the same (and in some cases more) tools than mint does.

    The big advantage Mint has is their graphing capabilities are slicker and you can compare your spending vs others in your state. However, Yodlee offers a lot more types of account integration including cell phone providers, frequent flyer miles, etc and Yodlee has a far more extensive alerting system. The UI isn’t as slick but it is definitely worth a look if you want to really get into the nitty gritty of your financial situation.

    https://moneycenter.yodlee.com

  3. I’m not sure I’d go so far as you do in feeling confidant that Mint/Yodlee is secure — the log-in information *is* being stored, even if it is currently accessible in any way, so there’s certainly the potential for inadvertent or deliberate security breaches.

    That being said, I tend to agree with you that the benefit of being able to check all your accounts at once quickly outweighs the security risks — I have a bunch of credit cards and checking accounts and the like, and the only way I’m able to keep track of them is through using something like Yodlee/Mint.

  4. Trevor says:

    I’m glad to hear Mint.com is secure. My wife stumbled upon the
    website reading a magazine last week and we just started trying it.
    Despite the many financial institutions it cooperates with it still
    doesn’t have our credit union. I’ve put in an email request and
    have only received generic email replies, which so far renders
    Mint.com useless to us. Happy it works for others though, seems
    like a great concept.

  5. Doug says:

    The writer of this article has over-simplified the security risks.
    Just because they use Yodlee doesn’t mean it’s secure. The truth
    is, your login information traverses Mint systems. Therefore, Mint
    employees and contractors COULD gain access to your information.
    This article is really just a bias commercial for Mint. I used it,
    and it’s got potential, but let’s be real; it’s still in beta and
    buggy.

  6. Taarheel says:

    Correct. This article simply repeats the marketing crap from
    Mint.com. Mint says “sure we’re secure.” Don’t worry we got your
    back. Do they take responsibility for any theft/misappropriation of
    your funds? Absolutely NOT. They (or Yodlee, whoever they are) have
    the same info you have to access your bank account or investment
    accounts online. If you gave a hacker this info, he would suck your
    money out of your accounts before you could blink an eye. The law
    says you’re only liable for the first $500 of loss on each account,
    if you notify the financial institution within 2 days. What if you
    go on vacation for a week. Oops. Bye-bye retirement. Bye-bye house.
    Bye-bye car. Bye-bye tomorrow night’s dinner. You would have to be
    out of your freaking mind to give any organization except maybe the
    US Treasury the info you have to give Mint in order for it to do
    what it does. They could never be hacked? Never is a very long
    time. Think about the risk. Think. DO NOT BELIEVE SELF-SERVING
    STATEMENTS. Use your common sense.

  7. Larry says:

    The weak link in the chain is they use email addresses. No log in
    name and no security questions when asking for a lost password
    request. That is one part of the key to breaking it. Everyone has
    access to someone’s e-mail address the other part is guessing their
    email password or if you know someone that may be the easiest part.
    So unless you have a very difficult e-mail password you are open to
    this weak link of someone getting on a computer logging in with
    your name at Mint and request a forgotten password and then getting
    your e-mail with the change of password.

  8. DK says:

    What about manageME and quicken. They are the most impressive in
    managing the personal finance. I have bookmarked quicken and also
    upcoming version of manageME i.e manageME7

  9. With regard to resetting passwords, it is a tough one: you want it to be easy enough that you will do it, but hard enough that no one will try to hack it. At Thrive (www.justthrive.com), I think we went too far in one direction on our first pass: we currently require that you verify transaction level data, which is hard, since most people use Thrive to monitor their transactions! We’re working on a revision that uses a combination of e-mail and security questions to make it hard, but not too hard.

  10. Corey says:

    I’ve been using mint.com for a while now, and find it much simpler to use than Money by Microsoft. The site succeeds by keeping complexity to a minimum. I’ve put together a getting started guide for the website. If you’re interested follow my link.

  11. georgiasunflower says:

    I don’t understand how everyone is so freaked about using your email address when you had to use it to even leave this comment.
    Obviously anytime you use an online service, Hackers are a concern. So If they are, then you probably don’t use online banking with your bank either because truly hackers are everywhere. If you DO use online banking then it is ridiculous to feel safe with them but not MINT.
    When comparing Quicken to MINT my biggest complaint is Quicken is chained to a particular computer. I like to use my Desktop when I am in my Office and my Laptop when I am anywhere else. The only way I can access my information is if the data is stored online. If you only use one computer then Quicken is probably good for you but BACK UP OFTEN!

  12. hoobastanky says:

    the problem isnt using your email, its that you have to enter your bank acocunt information. that to me is a bit sketchy.

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  16. MS says:

    after reading the terms and conditions especially 13.2. I became wary and paranoid. I didn’t want to accept to terms-“hereby grant us a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, modify, display, and perform all or any portion of the content in connection with Mint.com and our business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the site (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels. You also hereby grant each User a non-exclusive license to access your posted content through Mint.com, and to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display and perform such content as permitted through the functionality of Mint.com and under this Agreement.”!

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