Millions of users have entrusted SurveyMonkey with their survey data, and we make it a priority to take our users’ security and privacy concerns seriously. We strive to ensure that user data is kept securely, and that we collect only as much personal data as is required to provide our services to users in an efficient and effective manner.

SurveyMonkey uses some of the most advanced technology for Internet security that is commercially available today. This Security Statement is aimed at being transparent about our security infrastructure and practices, to help reassure you that your data is appropriately protected.

Application and User Security

  • SSL/TLS Encryption: Users can determine whether to collect survey responses over secured, encrypted SSL/TLS connections. All other communications with the surveymonkey.com website are sent over SSL/TLS connections. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) technology (the successor technology to SSL) protect communications by using both server authentication and data encryption. This ensures that user data in transit is safe, secure, and available only to intended recipients.
  • User Authentication: User data on our database is logically segregated by account-based access rules. User accounts have unique usernames and passwords that must be entered each time a user logs on. SurveyMonkey issues a session cookie only to record encrypted authentication information for the duration of a specific session. The session cookie does not include the password of the user.
  • User Passwords: User application passwords have minimum complexity requirements. Passwords are individually salted and hashed.
  • Data Encryption: Certain sensitive user data, such as credit card details and account passwords, is stored in encrypted format.
  • Data Portability: SurveyMonkey enables you to export your data from our system in a variety of formats so that you can back it up, or use it with other applications.
  • Privacy: We have a comprehensive privacy policy that provides a very transparent view of how we handle your data, including how we use your data, who we share it with, and how long we retain it.
  • HIPAA: Enhanced security features for HIPAA-enabled accounts.

Physical Security

  • Data Centers: Our information systems infrastructure (servers, networking equipment, etc.) is collocated at third party SSAE 16/SOC 2 audited data centers. We own and manage all of our equipment located in those data centers.
  • Data Center Security: Our data centers are staffed and surveilled 24/7. Access is secured by security guards, visitors logs, and entry requirements such as passcards and biometric recognition. Our equipment is kept in locked cages.
  • Environmental Controls: Our data center is maintained at controlled temperatures and humidity ranges which are continuously monitored for variations. Smoke and fire detection and response systems are in place.
  • Location: All user data is stored on servers located in the United States and Luxembourg.

Availability

  • Connectivity: Fully redundant IP network connections with multiple independent connections to a range of Tier 1 Internet access providers.
  • Power: Servers have redundant internal and external power supplies. Data center has backup power supplies, and is able to draw power from the multiple substations on the grid, several diesel generators, and backup batteries.
  • Uptime: Continuous uptime monitoring, with immediate escalation to SurveyMonkey staff for any downtime.
  • Failover: Our database is log-shipped to standby servers and can failover in less than an hour.

Network Security

  • Uptime: Continuous uptime monitoring, with immediate escalation to SurveyMonkey staff for any downtime.
  • Third Party Scans: Weekly security scans are performed by Qualys.
  • Testing: System functionality and design changes are verified in an isolated test “sandbox” environment and subject to functional and security testing prior to deployment to active production systems.
  • Firewall: Firewall restricts access to all ports except 80 (http) and 443 (https).
  • Intrusion Detection/Intrusion Prevention: Intrusion detection systems and intrusion prevention systems detect, mitigate and/or prevent interference or access from outside intruders.
  • Patching: Latest security patches are applied to all operating system and application files to mitigate newly discovered vulnerabilities.
  • Access Control: Secure VPN, multifactor authentication, and role-based access is enforced for systems management by authorized engineering staff.
  • Logging and Auditing: Central logging systems capture and archive all internal systems access including any failed authentication attempts.

Storage Security

  • Backup Frequency: Backups occur hourly internally, and daily to a centralized backup system for storage in multiple geographically disparate sites.
  • Production Redundancy: Data stored on a RAID 10 array. O/S stored on a RAID 1 array.

Organizational & Administrative Security

  • Employee Screening: We perform background screening on all employees.
  • Training: We provide security and technology use training for employees.
  • Service Providers: We screen our service providers and bind them under contract to appropriate confidentiality obligations if they deal with any user data.
  • Access: Access controls to sensitive data in our databases, systems and environments are set on a need-to-know / least privilege necessary basis.
  • Audit Logging: We maintain and monitor audit logs on our services and systems (our logging systems generate gigabytes of log files each day).
  • Information Security Policies: We maintain internal information security policies, including incident response plans, and regularly review and update them.

Software Development Practices

  • Stack: We code in Python and C# and run on SQL Server 2008, Ubuntu Linux, and Windows 2008 Server.
  • Coding Practices: Our engineers use best practices and industry-standard secure coding guidelines to ensure secure coding.

Handling of Security Breaches

Despite best efforts, no method of transmission over the Internet and no method of electronic storage is perfectly secure. We cannot guarantee absolute security. However, if SurveyMonkey learns of a security breach, we will notify affected users so that they can take appropriate protective steps. Our breach notification procedures are consistent with our obligations under various state and federal laws and regulation, as well as any industry rules or standards that we adhere to. Notification procedures include providing email notices or posting a notice on our website if a breach occurs.

Your Responsibilities

Keeping your data secure also depends on you ensuring that you maintain the security of your account by using sufficiently complicated passwords and storing them safely. You should also ensure that you have sufficient security on your own systems, to keep any survey data you download to your own computer away from prying eyes. We offer SSL to secure the transmission of survey responses, but it is your responsibility to ensure that your surveys are configured to use that feature where appropriate.

Custom Requests

Due to the number of customers that use our service, specific security questions or custom security forms can only be addressed for customers purchasing a certain volume of user accounts within a SurveyMonkey Enterprise subscription. If your company has a large number of potential or existing users and is interested in exploring such arrangements, please check out www.surveymonkey.com/mp/enterprise.

Last updated: September 9, 2013.