I’ve been buying things online with my Mac for 10 or 15 years without a single problem other than the occasional site which prefers Microsoft’s Internet Explorer to Firefox or Safari.
Recently I’ve been managing my money on my Mac by checking out various Mac money management utilities. I want one that syncs both ways with my iPhone. A Twitter reader responded and said to try Mint.
At first I thought, “How does someone figure out you have a breath problem over the internet?” Then I realized he was talking about Mint.com, the online money management site.
It’s one thing to use your Mac and a utility that manages your finances (after all, Mac users have been exposed to sub-par versions of Quicken for a decade), but it’s something else again to forego your Mac altogether and go totally online.
That’s my problem. I shop online. I buy online. I don’t want to manage my money online. At least, not yet. Why? It’s a fear. A growing fear.
Over the past few years there have been tens of millions of credit card numbers stolen from US credit card systems. Hackers go where the money is, right?
My husband says I’m paranoid, but I figure it this way.
If those huge credit card companies and banks, after spending hundreds of millions of dollars to secure their networks and computers can still get hacked, what chance does Mint.com have?
See the problem? That may seem somewhat contradictory because I use my Mac to shop and purchase online, and each transaction requires a credit card, so what’s the difference?
If my credit card gets lost or stolen I’m not liable for much damage done, regardless of how much the card gets used.
There’s the stand up comedian’s line of, “My wife had her credit card stolen but I haven’t reported it yet. The thief is spending less than my wife did.”
Putting all my banking information online, in a single place that probably has less security than the credit card companies, gives me the San Diego Heebie Jeebies™ and that’s not a good thing.
I love my Mac. I love to shop online. I just don’t want all my banking and financial information in one place online.
I’ve sworn off using Intuit’s Quicken forever and ever because they want me to go online to use the Quicken of the future.
Mint.com is Mac user friendly. There’s even a Mint application for the iPhone. Their web site is attractive and pleasant and mentions easy and protection often enough among the accolades from Money Magazine and Kiplinger’s Magazine.
I’m not swayed. I think my Mac is safer with me and wherever I go than my money and financial information is online. Am I paranoid? You betcha! When everyone is out to get your money, paranoia is the best attitude to have.
For now, I want a simple, elegant Mac utility that manages my money, tracks my spending, alerts me to payment deadlines, and can help me have money at the end of the month, rather than more month at the end of my money.
Cha-Ching is one of a few Mac utilities I’m trying out. It’s a pig logo, yes, but not overly burdensome, cumbersome, and doesn’t seem to require classes at the local community college to understand. And, it syncs with my iPhone.
Online everything may be the future of Mac users. I’d expect to see a version of iWork to show up in MobileMe some day. I’m just not convinced yet that all my financial information is safe online.