Mint is a great budgeting app that can help you keep your finances all in one convenient location. They collect your bank account information, categorize your spending, and even help you to make online bill payments. With access to all of this personal information, you may be wondering, is Mint safe?
Mint is run by parent company Intuit (responsible for TurboTax and Quickbooks), and they are licensed and registered in eighteen states. They use high level encryption to protect your transactions and data. They also use Verisign and multi-factor authentication to help secure your account.
If you have been thinking about using this app, here is everything you need to know about their security measures.
Is Mint Safe?
Because Mint collects information from your bank to help you budget better, many people are wondering whether this site is actually safe. They tally up your account statements, bills, bank accounts, and payment accounts. You even hand over the username and password to your accounts so that they can supervise your spending.
Before you enter your sensitive information, you need to be able to rest assured that this platform is really safe.
The good news is that Mint is part of the Intuit brand family. This company is used to dealing in sensitive data when helping you with your accounting and tax preparation. They have a good reputation of being secure for their customers.
However, brand reputation is not the only thing you should rely on. Even big-name banks are sometimes subject to hacking and data leaks. You need to take a deep dive into their actual security measures.
Who is Behind Mint?
Knowing the company behind Mint is key if you want to understand how secure the site really is. Mint is powered by a much larger company known as Intuit. You may have heard of some of the other brands that Intuit powers including TurboTax and QuickBooks.
This large company employs more than 10,000 people across twenty offices in nine locations.
Intuit is well known for being a trustworthy source for your financial information. They pride themselves on helping their customers with their unique financial solutions.
Intuit Financing Inc. does business as Intuit Mint and offers a matching service for clients for personal loan offerings with some of their partner lenders. However, they do not make the final credit decisions, fund the loans, or service the loans themselves.
In order to offer this service, they are registered and licensed in eighteen states under a variety of different registration types. They are thorough and transparent when it comes to their licensing so that you can rest easy that you are in good hands.
128-Bit SSL Encryption
Mint uses many of the same security measures as financial institutions. To start with, the site uses 128-bit SSL encryption.
For those who are unfamiliar with how SSL encryption works, 128-bit refers to the length of the session key. This unique code is formed by both Mint and your personal device, and it is used for the entirety of your session.
When the number is higher, it is harder for hackers to guess at the possible combinations that would unlock the code. The SSL security used by Mint is not the highest possible encryption, but it is certainly sufficient for keeping your data safe. You may find other sites that offer 256-bit encryption, but this is not necessary for all sites.
It would take years for hackers to break the 128-bit security key. Even with advanced technology, it will still take forever for hackers to be able to access your information in this way.
Another security measure they take is security scanning offered through VeriSign. This company helps to secure millions of servers around the world, including almost all of the Fortune 500 companies. They also secure almost all of the one hundred largest banks that also use SSL security.
VeriSign has been around for more than twenty years, helping with DNS registration and resolution infrastructure. They aim to increase dependability despite the increasing number of cyberattacks that are happening around the globe.
Part of what they do is to help fund and support efforts by ICANN to fight against DNS abuse. They work against security threats and illegal online activity, including online opioid sales, COVID-19 fraud, child abuse, and botnets.
Protecting Files on the Server
One of the ways that Mint protects your information is by encrypting information that is stored on their servers. While their site utilizes 128-bit SSL security, their servers are more heavily encrypted to ensure the safety of your sensitive data. Their servers utilize 256-bit encryption to keep your data safe.
This level of encryption is one of the hardest to crack. It could take years for someone to attempt to crack this particular string of code.
If you are concerned about how they store your data, you don’t need to worry. With this level of encryption, it is highly unlikely that a hacker would be able to access your information. It would take them too long to make it worth their while.
Multi-factor Authentication and Touch ID
You will find out pretty quickly that Mint uses multi-factor authentication. Sometimes, you may also hear this referred to as two-step verification. The principles between the two terms are very much the same though. The purpose is to ensure that you are exactly who you say you are.
With this process, you must verify your identity in at least two ways. This helps the website to prove that you are who you say you are before they allow you to access your own information.
How does it work? Well, they might ask you to enter a code that was sent to your email address or texted to your phone in addition to your password.
Hackers will be less likely to be able to authenticate your identity as they would also need full access to your email or phone number. As a result, they simply will not be able to sign in under your account. Multi-factor authentication means it may take you longer to sign in, but it ultimately provides great peace of mind for you as a user.
They may also ask you to answer some security questions to verify your identity. These contain personal information that a hacker is unlikely to be able to guess.
If you want, you can enable Touch ID on your account. This is an optional service that really boosts the level of security you will experience. In addition to all of the other factors, you will also not be able to access your account without your fingerprint.
Hackers cannot find a way around this particular source of identification.
There is also some buzz about the fact that Mint may hire “good” hackers quarterly to help test their system. These hackers for hire do their very best to try to break into the system and access the secure data you upload onto the platform. With this type of quarterly test, it makes Mint more aware of areas where they should beef up their security.
So far, there seem to be good results from this type of testing.
Is Mint Safe? What Can You Do on Mint?
You can rest assured that even if hackers did somehow make it into your information, there is very little they can do with it. Mint does store things like your contact information, but they do not hold your bank credentials.
Hackers would be able to see your bank account balances and your spending habits, but they could not actually access your checking account. Mint does not actually have permission to funnel money out of your account, so it does hackers no good.
While you can arrange for bill pay through the program, there are separate security measures that must be taken. They will not just send a check to an individual for the balance of your bank account.
In other words, the information that hackers would be able to see is pretty much “read only.” They can see, but they can do nothing with the information available to them.
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Understanding Mint Security
It makes sense that you want to make sure Mint is safe before you start entering some of your sensitive personal information. The good news is that they take great pains to make sure that all of your data is safe. Even if hackers did manage to make it into the system, there is very little they could do with what is available to them.