No. of Recommendations: 1
As you on this board know, I've been vetting several different software apps for money management, although my needs are pretty simple. Just really want to have a program that will provide end-of-year contributions, account balances, and ledgers for credit cards, checking accounts etc....

Several suggestions from y'all are great and I'm checking into them. In my "travels" through cyberspace came upon a recommendation for something called "Mint". Went to the site www.Mint.com and it appears to do everything it says it will. It combines all accounts so you can see what you owe, balances etc......it easily and swiftly connects with your bank and credit cards (after you provide just a bit of info, like your unique password etc....) and then will even set up alerts to your cell phones etc....they have a forum, help site etc...

But what scares me is that all this data on you is out there in cyberspace. there's no icon for the software program that I can find that you click on to "open" it! It appears its always open out in cyberspace and all you (or anyone else) needs is your e-mail addy and password for the software. As soon as you provide that, all your accounts, cc info, home and cell phone number, investments, real estate info (mortgages) etc...are out there....

I decided it wasn't secure enough, although I don't know why I felt this discomfort....so I got out of it. Am curious if anyone else has heard of or tried it. Oh, by the way, its free too...

thx
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Tuni you credit card or bank accounts have a certain risk because they are accessible or open (with login and password) to the internet. When you use Mint, you just add another entity with your information. But to more the more insidious part of of Mint, is that single location has all your logins and passwords.

I am certain Intuit has good security, but it has to be a target -- reminds of that Jesse James quote, he robs banks cause that is where the money is.

Gordon
Atlanta
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exactly, Gordon.....it just seemed especially risky to me too....

thx
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"reminds of that Jesse James quote, he robs banks cause that is where the money is."

I always thought that was Willie Sutton:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_Sutton
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Whenever something is "free," I wonder who really pays for it.

Because the person paying for a service is the real customer.

For most "free" services, the paying customers are advertisers. Think about free websites (like this one), free services (like Google), and free entertainment (like broadcast radio and TV). You may watch the CBS evening news, but unless you actually pay for advertisements on that show, your not CBS's customer.

Mint.com's model is, I think, a bit more sinister in that it doesn't carry overt advertising. According to one article I read, their business model is collecting info on customers like you, and then taking payment from sellers of products and services to recommend those things to you.

http://valuestories.wordpress.com/2008/10/15/how-does-mint-m...
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Whenever something is "free," I wonder who really pays for it.

We went over this a long time ago, but iCloud is free. I think we noted that Windows users could sign up, and you didn't technically have to buy Apple hardware to use parts of it.

-awlabrador
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iCloud is a service of little use to someone who isn't using Apple products. I'm pretty sure you can only sign up for a new iCloud account from a Mac or iOS device.

It's purpose is to promote hardware sales.

I'm not saying one should be suspicious of all free services.

I'm simply saying one should be aware of whom is paying for the service.
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No. of Recommendations: 5
http://lifehacker.com/5697167/if-youre-not-paying-for-it-you...
... "if you're not paying for something, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold".

PF
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I tend to agree with your assessment. I started entering info and then got scared (or maybe smart?) and closed account. I wonder if the info I entered is still out there floating around somewhere.....Yipes!!!

thx for your input.
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iCloud is a service of little use to someone who isn't using Apple products. I'm pretty sure you can only sign up for a new iCloud account from a Mac or iOS device.

Actually, you and I discussed this very issue in the "Marco: in depth hands on Kindle Fire review" thread from 2011, in which you said

No hacking required, since iCloud is built on open standards. The mail is IMAP, and any mail client will work. The calendar supports CalDAV, and the Address Book supports CardDAV. See here for details: http://pwnmyi.com/how-to-setup-icloud-email-contacts-calenda......

Now, are you convinced that iCloud is really free?


See http://boards.fool.com/its-true-that-a-very-limited-set-of-i...

I think the point of the discussion was that ad-supported "free" wasn't really free, vs. signing up for iCloud (no ads) even for use with non-Apple devices. Also, we discussed whether unlimited streaming of movies from Amazon Prime was really "free." At the time, I took the side that iCloud was not really free, just some parts of it, if we didn't accept that unlimited Amazon Prime movies weren't also de-facto "free", and you were trying to convince me that some open-standard parts were really freely accessible without having to give money to Apple.

Anyway, I've come around to your own 2011 thinking that iCloud is free, unless Apple changed it, and that unlimited Amazon Prime streaming isn't so much free but included in the fee.

-awlabrador
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some open-standard parts were really freely accessible without having to give money to Apple.

You need a Mac or iOS device to create the account, but I suppose you could just walk into an Apple store and create your account on one of their macs.

Once the account is created, you can use most of the services from a windows pc for free.
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