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idoc

windows Review of filethisfetch.com and Evernote.

Idea

Filethisfetch.com is a web service (still in beta) which integrates very well with EN. Essentially, this is a service which lets consumers go paperless by automatically delivering monthly bills, statements and other electronic documents, directly to their Evernote account.

FileThis Fetch, a cloud-based web service, downloads and organizes years of information from household accounts such as banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, brokerage firms, mortgage companies, and phone and utility companies. The information is securely captured regularly and downloaded to Evernote. The way it does this is by creating a new notebook called "File this Fetch" with subnotebooks for every account that you've asked it to retrieve eg: Time Warner Cable, Bank of America, Schwab, Chase, Wells Fargo etc. I was able to find 9 of my accounts in their list and gave it a test drive. Every account transferred about 2 years worth of statements directly to my folders on EN. In every case I used Acrobat to simply merge those statements into one pdf (2010-present) and will now wait for statements to appear one by one whenever they become available (with no effort on my part). I noticed with amazement that filethisfetch is able to retrieve far more statements than I thought possible from various vendors eg: when I go to Citibank I am only give the option to retrieve the last 6 months; but filethisfetch found 39 statements (including all 1099's and other tax documents). For Amazon, they were able to retrieve a statement list of all my purchases for the last 2 years in a very easy to read format (I never even knew that this was available). As of now, not every vendor/institution is on their list and I can only imagine that the list will grow considerably. It's not entirely clear to me how request a vendor to be placed on their list. However, on first blush this is a terrific service for EN users especially if they are paperless or trying to go paperless. Even though it's in beta it worked flawlessly with almost no effort required.

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It's a nice idea, but I worry about giving ALL my login details to one site. I worry more about giving my bank account login details to anyone (apart from the bank). So far as I can see FTF is US-only, which is fine for you guys, but us peasants out here in the geographical boonies have needs too! At the moment I could use this to retrieve Paypal and Amazon details, but since I'm already keeping tabs on both on a transaction by transaction basis, that wouldn't save me any time or effort. No doubt these guys will add in more agencies as they go along, but this is one task that I think I'm happier doing "manually". On the computer. With strictly local filing. Thanks.

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I won't file my statements on the cloud. This is a good service, but the storage of passwords is a concern. Definitely need to regularly update the password for each bank site on a regular basis. I also don't like the fact that there is no way of setting the default file name for the account that you are downloading. Another thing is I noticed that quite a few of the files are not being named correctly in the note title - they are all called attachment.pdf so if you need to remove them at a later date you must rename them. Not sure if this is something with the bank site, or the FileThis conversion program.

One thought about EN that did occur to me as I was checking note titles/file names was that it would be very helpful if we could look at the attachment name more easily - with a single attachment having a column in the list view would work ...? Not sure how multiple attachments would be handled. Probably have to check manually as at present.

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It's a nice idea, but I worry about giving ALL my login details to one site. I worry more about giving my bank account login details to anyone (apart from the bank).

Yep, that's the deal-breaker for me.

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It's a nice idea, but I worry about giving ALL my login details to one site. I worry more about giving my bank account login details to anyone (apart from the bank).

Yep, that's the deal-breaker for me.

Yes, I agree. It was a real struggle for me to give them my passwords and I emailed them about this before starting. I was satisfied from their response that they take security very seriously. Their entire business model depends on this very fact. Once I got beyond this I found that it worked absolutely seamlessly. It's true that everything comes across with a generic name ie: attachment(3) but this doesn't bother me in the least. Whenever they retrieved years worth of statements I simply merged them all into one superstatement and changed the name (Time Warner 2010-2012). From now on I will receive my statements one by one and simply add them to my relevant notes after renaming them. I am not exaggerating when I say that after simply inputting my username and password into 9 or 10 institutions on their list, I checked back a few hours later and saw that they had seamlessly retrieved about 300 statements which they plopped very nicely into specially named notebooks which they created for me in Evernote. For people who are going paperless this is pure heaven.

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You can always just set it up so the bank or utility or whatever just emails your statement or notifications to EN.

I have all my "your bill is ready to look at" emails set up this way.

No one needs access to all your passwords, giving anyone that amount of control is just silly.

Yes, I agree. It was a real struggle for me to give them my passwords and I emailed them about this before starting. I was satisfied from their response that they take security very seriously. Their entire business model depends on this very fact. Once I got beyond this I found that it worked absolutely seamlessly. It's true that everything comes across with a generic name ie: attachment(3) but this doesn't bother me in the least. Whenever they retrieved years worth of statements I simply merged them all into one superstatement and changed the name (Time Warner 2010-2012). From now on I will receive my statements one by one and simply add them to my relevant notes after renaming them. I am not exaggerating when I say that after simply inputting my username and password into 9 or 10 ins*****utions on their list, I checked back a few hours later and saw that they had seamlessly retrieved about 300 statements which they plopped very nicely into specially named notebooks which they created for me in Evernote. For people who are going paperless this is pure heaven.

Does it also encrypt your data as well? I bet it doesn't.

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Not quite as easy as you claim. For example, Schwab, Bank of America,Vanguard (and many others that I deal with) do not mail you a statement. Instead, they send you an email that tells you that your statement is now available on their website. This means that you have to go inot their website, log in, figure out where the statement is hiding and then download it. With filethisfetch none of this is necessary anymore. I simply find my statements waiting for me in Evernote. I love it.

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The service sounds interesting. Like everyone else, I'm concerned about security, especially financial data. Everyone is focusing on the security of the filethisfetch service. However, have you also considered the security of Evernote? You are taking some very sensative data and depositing it into Evernote, which for me is a no go. Evernote does not encrypt your documents (except for manual encryption of selected text in a specific note). Until they offer the ability to automatically encrypt anything dropped into a specific notebook, I don't think anyone should be storing financial documents in Evernote. This becomes your weakest link.

I would be willing to give up indexing/searching capability on a selected notebook in Evernote, if it meant that I could have that entire notebook encrypted. Unfortunately, I doubt Evernote will ever provide such capability. It has been asked before, but nothing ever comes from it.

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Evernote does not promote itself as a secure method to store financial records. They have been very clear on that issue. There are other software programs available to securely handle financial data.

"Evernote's service is primarily a consumer cloud memory service. This is reflected in our pricing model (free for most users with a single "Premium" tier of $45/year). While we're certainly happy to support professionals to use Evernote within their offices, we aren't actively pursuing an enterprise sales model (a la Salesforce.com)."

"As a consumer Internet service, we don't pursue enterprise certifications such as FISMA, HIPAA, etc. We manage our own servers at a Tier 3 data center (Quality Tech) in Santa Clara, which is itself SAS70 certified. All software and data is managed by Evernote's internal IT/Operations staff.

User data is not publicly accessible (e.g. via search engines) unless a user explicitly publishes one or more of their notebooks, in which case they may be accessed by other users."

https://support.ever...t=6&docID=23794

One can store sensitive material in a non-syn'd local Evernote notebook, which prevents the content getting into the cloud.

If that is not enough; encryption, such as TrueCrypt can be used for maximum security on Evernote.

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It has been asked before, but nothing ever comes from it.

Your comment makes it sound like Evernote are ignoring requests, but on the contrary they have always pointed out that it's impossible to provide both search and encryption. Since their model is all about finding stored information, that means no automatic encryption. And everyone here has always advocated some degree of care in what you entrust to the Cloud. The choices boil down to: add it, add and password protect it, or store it offline where encryption or otherwise is up to you. As JB says Evernote are quite clear that they're not providing high-security storage. Some choices are down to the user to make.

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Filethisfetch.com is a web service (still in beta) which integrates very well with EN. Essentially, this is a service which lets consumers go paperless by automatically delivering monthly bills, statements and other electronic documents, directly to their Evernote account.

FileThis Fetch, a cloud-based web service, downloads and organizes years of information from household accounts such as banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, brokerage firms, mortgage companies, and phone and utility companies. The information is securely captured regularly and downloaded to Evernote. The way it does this is by creating a new notebook called "File this Fetch" with subnotebooks for every account that you've asked it to retrieve eg: Time Warner Cable, Bank of America, Schwab, Chase, Wells Fargo etc. I was able to find 9 of my accounts in their list and gave it a test drive. Every account transferred about 2 years worth of statements directly to my folders on EN. In every case I used Acrobat to simply merge those statements into one pdf (2010-present) and will now wait for statements to appear one by one whenever they become available (with no effort on my part). I noticed with amazement that filethisfetch is able to retrieve far more statements than I thought possible from various vendors eg: when I go to Citibank I am only give the option to retrieve the last 6 months; but filethisfetch found 39 statements (including all 1099's and other tax documents). For Amazon, they were able to retrieve a statement list of all my purchases for the last 2 years in a very easy to read format (I never even knew that this was available). As of now, not every vendor/institution is on their list and I can only imagine that the list will grow considerably. It's not entirely clear to me how request a vendor to be placed on their list. However, on first blush this is a terrific service for EN users especially if they are paperless or trying to go paperless. Even though it's in beta it worked flawlessly with almost no effort required.

Thanks for posting about this service. It sounds very interesting, and I will look into it.

I know people worry about sharing their passwords (as well they should), but it is no different than what you would do with Mint or any number of other services. It is a risk, and you have to judge whether the rewards of participating are worth it.

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I was tempted, but my gut always tells me to shy away from start-ups, until they have been vetted by others.

A few differences between Mint.com and FileThisFetch.com:

Mint has been around since 2006

Intuit bought it in 2009.

Mint has received a variety of industry awards.

Detailed information of program and history mentioned on Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mint.com

It is free.

FileThisFetch.com was released 5 months ago.

It is too new to even be mentioned in Wikipedia.

They did receive an award at Macword 2012.

Annual fee is $20.00

I Evernoted the FileThisFetch press release.

I'll give it another look once it has been in the market for 12 months.

Another perspective.

Once Evernote adds the Due Date field, it will be almost as easy to retrieve the documents using my LastPass acount.

.

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Your comment makes it sound like Evernote are ignoring requests, but on the contrary they have always pointed out that it's impossible to provide both search and encryption. Since their model is all about finding stored information, that means no automatic encryption.

I don't think that is completely accurate. It *is* possible to encrypt ONLY the Note contents, but not the Note metadata, and still have a very useful search capability. The user could still search on Note Title, tags, dates, and other note attributes. In fact, Adobe provides this exact option for encrypting PDF documents.

In terms of FileThis Fetch, if they would provide an option to encrypt the PDF files before sending to Evernote, that would be a big help.

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It *is* possible to encrypt ONLY the Note contents, but not the Note metadata

That's all very well provided your note has sufficient metadata to be searchable. You're right, of course; but I was replying to @stevenrt's post in such a way (I hoped) as not to start old arguments about encryption.

And FTF fails bigtime (IMHO) in requiring the access details of my bank account in order to send me its statements. I'm a firm believer in secrets being safe with two people only if one of them has expired, and the details of access to my rapidly depleting funds are something I don't want to share without having a gun handy.

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One thing that I hope we'll see is for banks and other institutions to allow you to set up your account with a different password that would allow you to only download statements. That way, I could give that account and password to FileThis Fetch or other service, but all it could do was download statements, not transfer money out of my account or make payments, etc. However, this probably won't happen, because there's little pressure for financial institutions to do so.

For FileThis Fetch, I don't think there's much fear for it having my password for certain accounts, like Comcast. I guess if someone got my Comcast password, they could add some ***** channels to my lineup, or take away HBO I guess, but not really much else. It's the banks and credit cards that are probably the issues for most people.

I have used FileThis Fetch, and it's worked fairly well. I've gone paperless with a few accounts, like Comcast and AT&T Wireless, now that the statements come into my Evernote account.

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Let's get real for a moment. Admittedly we're all worried about online security, identity theft etc; I am too. I've been the victim of credit card and banking fraud over 5 times in the last decade. It's been a tremendous hassle and I ultimately had to take certain steps such as freezing my credit, going online every week to monitor my bank and visa statements etc. Identity theft is the real threat here and it's getting easier for online hackers to steal credit card and bank account numbers by the thousands. I would suspect that if you investigated the millions of such attacks you would find that extremely few (if any) of them occurred as a result of a breach at cloud based services. I suspect that low lying fruit such as the average desktop or corporate based computer is about 1000 times more vulnerable to hackers than cloud based servers. One can argue that vendors are acutely cognizant of the reputational risk of a major data breach and that it would only take one major breach to sink a business. For these reasons, I actually feel safer having my data in Evernote, Mozy or filethisfetch than on my own computer.

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Let's get real for a moment.

As long as we're getting real, it might be good to remember that most server and network break-ins are done by insiders.

It only takes one bad employee/contractor with the right access to get in and do a lot of damage.

Getting access to your credit card# and associated details can result in damage, but usually you are protected.

If someone gains access to your online banking login I suspect you are at much higher risk. While there are federal laws that protect your credit card liability, I'm not sure what, if any, protection you have from unauthorized login, other than the normal theft laws. IOW, I'm not sure if your Bank will refund you for unauthorized online logins.

It boils down to risk/reward. Is the risk of someone gaining access to my bank login worth the convenience of downloading my electronic statements?

Let's get real. It's not that hard to download your monthly statements once a month. ;)

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I also noted that actually, the service is not keeping up to date with some of the downloads - so for the latest statement you still need to go online. IOW, why bother with FileThisFetch?

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Let's get real for a moment.

As long as we're getting real, it might be good to remember that most server and network break-ins are done by insiders.

It only takes one bad employee/contractor with the right access to get in and do a lot of damage.

Getting access to your credit card# and associated details can result in damage, but usually you are protected.

If someone gains access to your online banking login I suspect you are at much higher risk. While there are federal laws that protect your credit card liability, I'm not sure what, if any, protection you have from unauthorized login, other than the normal theft laws. IOW, I'm not sure if your Bank will refund you for unauthorized online logins.

It boils down to risk/reward. Is the risk of someone gaining access to my bank login worth the convenience of downloading my electronic statements?

Let's get real. It's not that hard to download your monthly statements once a month. ;)

I'm not entirely sure if there's ever been a single instance of a major cloud breach. I googled this extensively and could find no actual evidence of this. This is particularly impressive since last year there were over a 1000 major corporate breaches and millions of individual attacks. Regarding how hard it is to download my monthly statements: filethisfetch is currently fetching statements from over 25 accounts for me. It does this flawlessly and saves me a ton of time. The problem is that many of these vendors simply send you an email saying "your statement is ready". They do not, however, provide a link that takes you straight to your statement. They expect you to log on to their website, input your username and password, navigate to the part where they store your statement, open that statement and then save it into Evernote. Since every website is a little different I often waste a lot of time figuring out where in the site the document is. With filethisfetch I literally do nothing! I glance at my filethisfetch notebook in Evernote every few days and check to see if a document has been pulled and is sitting there ie: it will say Charles Schwab(1). I then now that my latest Schwab statement has been pulled and is ready for me to review. Every once in a while there will be a lag and I will receive a notice from American Express saying that my statement is ready (but I won't see it appear in Evernote). Whenever this occurs I simply have to go to filethisfetch and click once on " American express " and it fetches it immediately. In fact, I think that ultimately it may make sense to simply visit filethisfetch every week or so and simply click on all the accounts. It's a great service and probably more suited to people who have a lot of services that they interface with.

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Incidentally, just after I posted I received the following email:

"You have just a week or less left on your FileThis Fetch Trial. Are you ready to upgrade?

FileThis Fetch has already fetched 486 documents from 11 connections and delivered them to your Evernote account. Subscribe now and help us grow this great service. Simply click here to subscribe."

- The FileThis Team

Needless to say I clicked and subscribed. Incidentally, when they say "11 connections", each connection can fetch several different statements eg: if you have 5 accounts at Schwab they will retrieve 5 different statements but count it as 1 connection.

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I'm not entirely sure if there's ever been a single instance of a major cloud breach. I googled this extensively and could find no actual evidence of this. This is particularly impressive since last year there were over a 1000 major corporate breaches and millions of individual attacks.

Most financial institutions do not publicly report/announce cyber thefts because they don't want to alarm the pubic.

So we don't know about most of them.

Regarding how hard it is to download my monthly statements: filethisfetch is currently fetching statements from over 25 accounts for me. It does this flawlessly and saves me a ton of time. The problem is that many of these vendors simply send you an email saying "your statement is ready". They do not, however, provide a link that takes you straight to your statement. They expect you to log on to their website, input your username and password, navigate to the part where they store your statement, open that statement and then save it into Evernote. Since every website is a little different I often waste a lot of time figuring out where in the site the document is.

You make it sound a lot harder than it need be. The actual downloading time is small in comparison with the time I take to review each statement for accuracy. It is easy enough to setup browser bookmarks for the download locations. If you use a password manager it can automatically fill in the login credentials.

So, with only 2-3 mouse clicks I have downloaded my statement.

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Just to play along I tried it on my Vanguard site. I have lastpass password manager installed and I have the website bookmarked. I have 5 Vanguard accounts and need to do the same thing for each one of them seperately. It took 14 minutes and I was hyperefficient during the process. Now imagine how long it would take for the other 20 vendors I deal with. Filethisfetch is saving me hours each month and is well worth the $20 they charge (and the leap of faith it takes to give them your personal information). Again, if you're not very busy with statements I agree that it is probably an unneccessary service. For me it's an absolute no-brainer.

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For me it's an absolute no-brainer.

I'm sure that's true.

It took me less than 1 minute to login and download my bank statement from a browser bookmark.

I'm not willing to risk giving someone else my login credentials to save 1 min, or even 25 minutes, once a month.

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I also am a security worrier freak :( However, my time is also valuable, and I do subscribe to such services and Bank of America's Privacy Assist and Lifelock, so I think I'm willing to maybe check into this site more... Thanks to the OP for bringing it to our attention!!

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Thanks for posting! Security concerns aside, how is everyone liking the whole process?

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Followup: Still absolutely love this service. It just gets better and better. Recently I "sponsored" them for L.A DWP (los angeles department of water and power). This means that I give them my personal username and password and they configure this vendor to work seamlessly with their website. Sponsorship means that not only will it work for my needs, but for the thousands of other clients who will eventually get their LADWP statements from the service. As more and more people "sponsor" it means that eventually every important vendor, financial institution, utility etc will be available on their site. You always have the option of changing your username and password after you sponsor if you are concerned. Most casual users of this service will never need to sponsor anything.

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Still conflicted here - this is a US-based service anyway (for the time being at least), and while I'd like to avoid the annoyance of 3-monthly emails from my landline provider - "your phone bill is now ready for collection" (if I can remember a user name and password I only use 4 times per year), there is no way in Perdition that I'm sharing my bank account password with anyone. Maybe for a selected few of my accounts, when/ if it gets to the UK...

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I'm with you Gaz. This would be OK for accounts that are bills, but not for financial accounts. The risk/reward just isn't there.

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... Security concerns aside, how is everyone liking the whole process?

That's like the reporter asking: "Assassination concerns aside, how was the show, Mrs. Lincoln?

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I use email notification for e-bills and have them auto-forwarded to Evernote via a GMail filter.

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Again, it depends on how complicated your life is. With my busy home affairs and a very bustling business I find that at present I have 22 vendors which filethisfetch is dealing with. Therefore, for these 22 vendors the time it takes to get the statement has been reduced to Zero. How long would it take me if I did it each month manually? None of them simply send the statement by email (therefore, autoforwarding them to EN would not help). They all require logging into a website and then inputting the username and password. If all goes well, this takes you to a pdf which you can then import to EN manually. Most of the time I encounter little quirks with each site which requires remembering little idiosyncracies of the site to figure out. For example, the citicards site always makes you pick if you want your statement in pdf or some other format (you have to choose). The LADWP site makes you navigate to some bizarre tab before you find your statement (I always forget that tab). And on and on it goes. Therefore, I think that filethisfetch is saving me many hours each month and definitely a lot of frustration. In addition, it does certain things that I couldn't easily do myself. For example, it easily downloaded for me the last 18 months of statements from Amazon, LADWP, Schwab and a few others. I'm not quite sure how it accomplished this since I couldn't do it manually. With regards to safety: as I've pointed out before I don't think there's been a single major breach of a big cloud provider to date (and I don't think they could cover it up). I believe that their sites are by far safer than my own computer ie: I think there's less chance of my passwords falling into bad hands on MY OWN computer than on EN, Amazon cloud or Filethisfetch. I can't prove that assertion but there's a lot of highly reliable tech pundits who feel the same way. Last but not least: if you ever do become the victim of bank or credit card fraud (been there, done that) you will be covered for your losses by the bank and credit card company unless your actions were grossly negligent and dangerous (ie: ignoring your credit card company's request to change your card number after a known breach etc). I've never lost a single dime in all the episodes I've had. Therefore, risk/reward for me has been saving many hours of my time each month vs: very small risk of identity theft (which would probably be completely covered anyway)

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Wow! How you considered a career in the US Senate as Chief Filibusterer?

For sure you get the wannabe Senator award for the most number of words/sentences without taking a breath or making a carriage return.

I can never read long blocks of text like that. My eyes just glaze over. But that's just me. I like lists.

Just kidding. ;)

You are certainly entitled you enthusiastic recommendation of filethisfetch.com. I just hope you don't get burned someday.

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Wow! How you considered a career in the US Senate as Chief Filibusterer?

For sure you get the wannabe Senator award for the most number of words/sentences without taking a breath or making a carriage return.

I can never read long blocks of text like that. My eyes just glaze over. But that's just me. I like lists.

Just kidding. ;)

You are certainly entitled you enthusiastic recommendation of filethisfetch.com. I just hope you don't get burned someday.

Sorry, didn't mean to filibuster (although I agree it came across that way). I'm just such a fan of this service that I want to convert the masses. Incidentally,my wife accuses me of filibustering about Evernote when we're entertaining!

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I'm not against the service, and I appreciate your evangelism for it, but I just want to comment on your claim about cloud services. I won't quibble about the wording, but I think at the very least, it is overly optimistic.

I think if you frame the question as one about the security and integrity of your data, a lot of services actually have blemishes on their records. Dropbox just announced it has been hacked, it exposed everyone's data for several hours to anyone in the world about this time last year (?), Amazon lost a bunch of data about this time last year, Zappos (owned by Amazon) was hacked, etc., etc.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with this company, or any of the others I mentioned, but I think we need to go into this with our eyes open. If it is connected to the Internet, it is hackable. If humans operate the systems, it is prone to human error.

When weighing the risks and benefits, I would at least keep this in mind, regardless of what services you decide to use.

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GM, not to belabor the point but:

1. Amazon (the cloud service) was not hacked. Zappo, which is an online retailer that does business with Amazon, was hacked. This resulted in a loss of 24 million credit card files but did not compromise Amazon's cloud service at all. Actually, Amazon cloud has been used to hack Sony and other sites but has not been hacked itself.

2. Dropbox was semi "hacked". Certain individuals on other sites who had elected to use the same username and passwords on dropbox were compromised when hackers simply used those username and passwords to access their dropbox accounts. About 100 users were compromised (from 60 million).

Are they foolproof? No. But chances are that you're 1000 times more likely to be hacked from your good, ole desktop than from a cloud server.

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Anyone have any new thoughts on FileThis over the past year?  I keep going back and forth... the few accounts I have set up through the service work flawlessly.  However, I still go back and forth about the security of (a) giving my bank, etc. passwords to a company so small and (B) the risks of storing my statements in the Evernote cloud.

 

I first started looking into this last year when this discussion first started... one concern is that this company doesn't seem to have gotten any traction over the past year.  Is anyone actually using it?  If it is not catching on, that seems to suggest that it may not be around for very long, so I might as well not develop a system that relies on it.

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I believe the trend is growing as more and more people are becoming aware of the inherent security issues involved with sharing personal confidential access with 3rd party operations. Toss in all the privacy breaches (accidental or deliberate) done by anonymous hackers, start-up companies, established corporations and even (as seen in the news this month) governments - well the list goes on and on - it certainly causes me to question who has access to my personal, medical, and financial data. And once that confidential data escapes, there is no way to get it back.

 

I'll stay with TrueCrypt and LastPass and keep most of the 3rd party developers at bay.

 

Now if we could only get Evernote to move from the breakable 64-bit RC2 to a more robust 256-bit AES crypto.

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May I chime in again and say that I absolutely love this service to death.  I have a busy business and a busy personal life.  I have over 30 vendors on file this fetch and it works flawlessly.  Every week I check my file this fetch notebooks on Evernote and all the statements are waiting for me.  I've never seen a glitch.  Frankly I don't know what I would do if they went away.  Not only would it take me hours each week to retrieve all these statements but I suspect that I would constantly mess up.  Next to Lastpass and Evernote, this service is by far the one I appreciate the most.

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Anyone have any new thoughts on FileThis over the past year?  I keep going back and forth... the few accounts I have set up through the service work flawlessly.  However, I still go back and forth about the security of (a) giving my bank, etc. passwords to a company so small and ( B) the risks of storing my statements in the Evernote cloud.

 

I first started looking into this last year when this discussion first started... one concern is that this company doesn't seem to have gotten any traction over the past year.  Is anyone actually using it?  If it is not catching on, that seems to suggest that it may not be around for very long, so I might as well not develop a system that relies on it.

 

aukirk, I don't think there is any question that FTF is very efficient.

 

The real issue was, and continues to be, is it worth the time savings to risk exposing  complete login credentials of your critical financial  accounts?

  • What if someone hacked the FTF system/database?
  • What if a disgruntled or dishonest FTF employee/contractor decided to steal your login info?

For me, the clear answer is NO.

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I agree completely with the security concerns, and it is really ashame, because without a service like this I just don't think that "paperless" statements works for me... recently I have experimented with converting to paperless statements, but having to go into each site and pull the statements down is less efficient than getting the paper statement in the mail and running it through my ScanSnap.

 

Even with bookmarks set up and a password manager (I use 1Password on Mac), it takes way too long to find the statements (since each provider has it hidden in a slightly different spot) and saving the document to evernote is not that much quicker than running it through the scanner.

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Even with bookmarks set up and a password manager (I use 1Password on Mac), it takes way too long to find the statements (since each provider has it hidden in a slightly different spot) and saving the document to evernote is not that much quicker than running it through the scanner.

 

Interesting.  I have the same OS and setup, but my experience is just the opposite.  :-)  By setting the bookmark to the specific page where the statements are located, I find it very quick to download directly into my Evernote Import folder -- way faster than opening a paper envelope, feeding through the scanner, OCRing, and finally uploading to Evernote.  And, of course, the quality of the downloaded version is much better than the scanned version.

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I have used FTF for a year or so now and been very happy.  FYI, all user data is encrypted (passwords / logins / channels) , you can read their security write up. Docs are not stored on their servers, instead sent directly to your destination of choice.

 

https://filethis.com/fetch/about/security/

 

I confirmed at least their web connection does indeed use 256 bit AES, with PFS.

 

I recently STOPPED using evernote to store the downloaded statements.  I now download directly to my desktop.  Until EN addresses encryption issues, I don't feel secure storing docs in plaintext up in the cloud.

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I'm with you Gaz. This would be OK for accounts that are bills, but not for financial accounts. The risk/reward just isn't there.

I agree.  I don't use the service for financial accounts, but I do love it for utility bills!!!

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In the past, I have raised a number of concerns in using this service.  These were mostly about providing access to financial accounts.

 

Well, I wanted to report today that I have started using FileThisFetch (but I think it's called FileThis.com now), primarily to download statements of non-financial accounts, like utilities.  It works really great, especially in downloading statements as far back as the company supports.

 

In doing so, I came up with an approach for using it with financial accounts that I think I'm pretty comfortable with.

And that is simply temporarily changing the password on my financial account, and then run FileThis.  When the statement(s) are downloaded, I change my password back.

So, FileThis has access only for a few minutes.

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On 4/28/2014 at 5:46 PM, JMichaelTX said:

In the past, I have raised a number of concerns in using this service.  These were mostly about providing access to financial accounts.

 

Well, I wanted to report today that I have started using FileThisFetch (but I think it's called FileThis.com now), primarily to download statements of non-financial accounts, like utilities.  It works really great, especially in downloading statements as far back as the company supports.

 

In doing so, I came up with an approach for using it with financial accounts that I think I'm pretty comfortable with.

And that is simply temporarily changing the password on my financial account, and then run FileThis.  When the statement(s) are downloaded, I change my password back.

So, FileThis has access only for a few minutes.

@JMichaelTX, are you still using FileThis?

I may not be understanding your procedure for financial accounts correctly, but it sounds like you are changing the password for each financial account before running FileThis? Wouldn't that take even longer than simply logging into each website and downloading the statement manually? Again, I'm likely misunderstanding something here.

Any thoughts from others using FileThis? I absolutely hate logging into so many different sites to fetch statements manually. Like everyone else, the only thing that gives me pause is the security risk.

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On 2/21/2017 at 0:11 PM, tavor said:

@JMichaelTX, are you still using FileThis?

No.  I was using it only for non-bank stuff (like utility bills), but it got too expensive.
But you are correct, I don't trust them with my bank passwords.

There have been several users on the Keyboard Maestro Forum that have used KM to automate these downloads.
I've been planning to adapt one of these for my needs but have not got around to it.  BTW, 
Keyboard Maestro is THE best Mac automation tool I have ever used, or even heard of.  For a 20% discount, use this link: KM Discount

I'm using Quicken to download all of my financial stuff.  Yes, you have to give the Quicken app on your Mac the account passwords, but all of the banks have well-established methods for giving Quicken very limited access.  

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1 hour ago, JMichaelTX said:

No.  I was using it only for non-bank stuff (like utility bills), but it got too expensive.
But you are correct, I don't trust them with my bank passwords.

There have been several users on the Keyboard Maestro Forum that have used KM to automate these downloads.
I've been planning to adapt one of these for my needs but have not got around to it.  BTW, 
Keyboard Maestro is THE best Mac automation tool I have ever used, or even heard of.  For a 20% discount, use this link: KM Discount

I'm using Quicken to download all of my financial stuff.  Yes, you have to give the Quicken app on your Mac the account passwords, but all of the banks have well-established methods for giving Quicken very limited access.  

I started using it for bills and it is so convenient that I am very tempted to use it for financial accounts. 

I'm on Windows, so I could find/modify or create an automation script, but it would be unique to each website because of all the differences among sites, so the work involved is a bit off putting. Plus, you know the sites will change things that will cause the scripts to break, which means more work to maintain the scripts.

Or I could go plug and play with FileThis and let them handle all the details. Using it really brought home to me how ridiculous it is that in 2017, we are still manually downloading statements from individual sites. The various services and financial institutions that issue statements should be offering options to automatically (and securely) send these to customer Dropbox, Evernote, etc., accounts.

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