Many of us are using financial apps and digital tools like Acorns®, Venmo®, TurboTax® and Mint® to manage our finances, pay for things and generally make our lives easier. These tools use your personal information, such as username and password, to provide a personalized service.
They may also use a third party—called a data aggregator—that typically collects and stores either your personal or transaction information, or both. Here’s what you need to know about these apps and how they work.
Learn How Financial Apps Use Your Data
The convenience of having a digital tool that displays the financial information from all their accounts in one place has obvious benefits. Users feel that having real-time access to the status of their finances allows them to make smarter spending, saving and investment decisions. However, it’s necessary to investigate how these apps handle your data. As a responsible user, you’ll want to keep these tips in mind so you can find out for yourself how each app treats your data:
- Revisit all the tools you’re using to see if you still find them helpful, and completely delete profiles and services you’re not using.
- Read the terms and conditions of any user agreement you accept—specifically around access rights to your account.
- Learn about the tool’s privacy and security policies. Check to see if they’ve had data breaches and, if so, how they’ve handled them.
Additional Steps to Consider
While knowledge of how financial apps handle data is important, there are also a few things you can do to boost your security. You could start by:
- Signing up for transaction alerts with your bank for any accounts you have connected to the service. That way, you’ll be notified right away of any suspicious activity.
- Being cautious of how you access the digital tool. Always use a secure connection and don’t handle any financial transactions on public Wi-Fi.
- Ensuring that none of your financial data apps have the same password. Remember, if a hacker is able to break into one of your accounts, they’ll be able to break into all of them.
Navy Federal Credit Union Safeguards Financial Data
At Navy Federal, account security is our top priority. We stay up to date on the latest security and technology trends and share that information with our members. Learn more by visiting our Security Center.
- Do a quick inventory of the financial apps you’ve signed up for. Deactivate and delete any you’re no longer using. Enabled 2-factor authentication and emergency alerts for those you rely on regularly.
- Check to see if you’ve been part of any data breaches in the past 12 months. If you have, change your password for any financial app or account that uses the same email or phone number that appeared in a data leak.
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This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.