The online budget space is going through something of a shakeout. It wasn’t long ago that new players seemed to emerge every month, most with strange-sounding names like Wesabe, Yodlee, Geezeo (which now seems to be focusing on working with financial institutions rather than individuals), moneyStrands, and Mint. However, Intuit’s purchase of Mint seemed to solidify Mint’s leadership position, and in recent days the once-prominent Wesabe announced it is shutting down. These developments led The New York Times to take a closer look at Mint’s safety. After all, in order to use the service, or most of its competitors, you have to provide your bank and credit card account numbers and passwords. The Times story concluded that Mint is safe—for the most part.
Of course, Mint’s founder was emphatic about the site’s safety. For a more impartial view, Identity Theft Resource Center co-founder Jay Foley described Mint’s security as “pretty decent, all things considered,” noting that it is on a par with the security systems in place at most financial institutions. Paul Stevens, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Privacy Rights Clearing House, said, “There is no doubt that it probably is very secure but anytime that you provide your information to an additional entity, you are really compounding the opportunities for your personal information to be breached.”
I use Mint and am comfortable doing so. It’s the biggest player in the online budget space and its founder realizes that its success depends completely on its security. What about you? Are you using an online budget tool? Why or why not? How do you feel about the security issues related to such tools?