Author Topic: Spreadsheets and Security  (Read 2289 times)

9ft5wt

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Spreadsheets and Security
« on: May 25, 2015, 08:14:39 AM »
Which spreadsheet programs do you use to track your expenses and net worth?

I like Mint, but would like an 'in-house' method.

I am wondering if anyone has any thoughts on using either Excel or Google Sheets to track expenses and net worth over time.

Any thoughts on security? Obviously, there won't be any account numbers or information like that on the sheets, but because Google Sheets would be linked to my email and would include information on my account balances over time, I worry that if someone gained access to it they would be enticed to use my email to, perhaps, access those accounts.

Excel docs stored on the computer with Internet access would also be accessible to thieves/hackers.

It seems like an Excel sheet on a dedicated computer that does not have Internet access might be the only way to secure things?

forummm

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Re: Spreadsheets and Security
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2015, 09:16:29 AM »
First, what does it matter if someone finds out you have some savings? If you don't include your name, SS#, account numbers and balances, passwords, etc, the damage is minimal.

You can password protect Excel docs. You can even put them inside a password protected zip file (double encryption).

You should have a good antivirus software. Avast is free.

I use Excel.

9ft5wt

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Re: Spreadsheets and Security
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2015, 09:37:23 AM »
If someones gains access to your email account and sees that you've got decent amounts of cash in a few banks accounts, they could conceivably use the 'forgot password' function of bank websites to access your accounts, reset your passwords, transfer your money.

Really, once anyone gains access to your email they could figure out the banks you use if you receive emails from them, then access your accounts.

Unless you use two-point authentication.

Does anyone use Google Sheets?

forummm

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Re: Spreadsheets and Security
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2015, 10:17:53 AM »
Yes, email is a bigger vulnerability than Excel docs on your computer. Two-factor authentication is highly recommended. Also, don't login to your account on computers you don't trust, always logout, and make sure your phone auto-locks.

MLKnits

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Re: Spreadsheets and Security
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2015, 11:32:43 AM »
Have you looked at YNAB? It's not a spreadsheet precisely, but you enter your own stuff, and you don't have to identify the bank--my accounts are just called "chequing," "savings," "RRSP," etc, so it wouldn't make me any more vulnerable to identity theft. It syncs via Dropbox, so I can pick it up anywhere, but it's under password protection.

Similarly, if you want low-tech (or free), a password-locked spreadsheet on Dropbox might beat a Google spreadsheet.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Spreadsheets and Security
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2015, 11:36:16 AM »
Yes, use two-factor authentication for your Gmail. A common online attack vector is to take over someone's email account and then use the "forgot password" links to take over everything else. Two-factor authentication greatly reduces the risk of this happening, since someone would have to find out your password and steal your phone (and find out your phone's password, if applicable).

I use Google Sheets all the time. The GoogleFinance() function is great, and it's secured by the same two-factor authentication I use for my email so I'm really not too concerned about it from a security perspective.

MDM

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Re: Spreadsheets and Security
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2015, 11:51:36 AM »
Which spreadsheet programs do you use to track your expenses and net worth?
None.  Quicken.  Although the 2015 version makes me wish for "something better", haven't heard of any package that is.