The dark side of budgeting apps

Budgeting apps are a handy tool for managing your money, but it's crucial to safeguard your data. They’re great for tracking spending, like those $7 cappuccinos you promised yourself to cut back on. But since these apps often require linking your bank details, they can put you at risk for data theft. With financial fraud at an all-time high, it pays to be cautious. When you pick an app, make sure it’s from a trustworthy company with good security and encryption. Get it straight from the App Store, Play Store, or the company's own website to be safe. When you set up your account, use a strong password and turn on two-factor authentication for extra security. To lower your risk, experts say it's best to limit how many apps you connect to your bank account — so consider this as your reminder to delete any old accounts you don’t use anymore. If you don’t know which companies still have your personal data, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has a process that shows consumers what information businesses have on them. Alternatively, there are budget apps that don’t require you to link your financial info, like Dollarbird and Goodbudget. Or, your bank might have its own budgeting app, like TD MySpend or RBC’s NOMI Budgets, which let you manage money securely without linking external accounts.