Your site and visitor data are safe with Hotjar. There are a number of steps we take to ensure you are the only person who can access your site data and that your visitors' privacy is respected.
All data Hotjar collects is stored electronically in Ireland, Europe on the Amazon Web Services infrastructure, eu-west-1 datacenter. Our application servers and database servers run inside an Amazon VPC, Virtual Private Cloud. The database containing visitor and usage data is only accessible from the application servers and no outside sources are allowed to connect to the database. Our data retention times differ depending on which plan your site is on, however, none are longer than 365 days.
- Site visitors are assigned a unique user identifier, UUID, so that Hotjar can keep track of returning visitors without relying on any personal information, such as the IP address.
- IP addresses of visitors are always suppressed before being stored. We set the last octet of IPv4 addresses, all connections to Hotjar are made via IPv4, to 0 to ensure the full IP address is never written to disk. For example, if a visitor's IP address is 188.8.131.52, it will be stored as 184.108.40.206. The first three octets of the IP address are only used to determine the geographic location of the visitor.
- When collecting data with Recordings, Hotjar automatically suppresses keystroke data on password fields, as well as when we detect a credit card number being entered into an input field. We also offer the ability to manually suppress data on specific input fields or on-page text containing email addresses/numbers. In both cases, the data is suppressed client-side, the visitor’s browser, which means it never reaches our servers.
Data collection and transmission
- Firewalls are in place exposing only the necessary ports through the internet and between different servers. Intrusion protection system (IPS) software is in place as a second layer of security, which will block access as soon as any suspicious login activity is detected.
- Hotjar transmits data from the visitor's browser to our systems using HTTPS if the site which is using Hotjar uses HTTPS.
- The protocols and ciphers suite used to encrypt data in transfer is available at the end of this article.
HTTPS / HTTP
If the site running Hotjar uses HTTP and not HTTPS, the data transmitted to our servers will not be encrypted. We always suggest using HTTPS when using Hotjar so the data transferred is always encrypted.
Data access and authentication
Only Hotjar engineers which require such access to perform their job efficiently are given access. Different engineers are given different access rights on different system components as well depending on what their job requires. Engineers who do have access, have their own credentials and these are only valid when used from specific IPs. SSH Key-Based authentication is used for server access.
Data collected through Hotjar is exclusively reserved for use by our users and customers. Hotjar does not make use of the data collected in any form or way unless consent is officially given by an admin of the Hotjar account, clearly outlining what the data will be used for.
Data access and backup
At Hotjar we use Database replication to keep your data safe in the case of system failure. Full database backups are taken every day, stored on Amazon Cloud Storage (AWS S3), and kept for three days as an electronic copy. In case two or more database nodes would fail concurrently we would have to revert to a backup.
This does not apply to Visitor Recordings - this data is currently not backed up.
Compliance, certifications and audit reports:
- ISO-27001 Certification: https://aws.amazon.com/compliance/iso-27001-faqs/
- SOC2 third-party audit reports: https://aws.amazon.com/compliance/soc-faqs/
- Hotjar is PCI compliant. We use Braintree's Hosted Fields: https://www.braintreepayments.com/features/hosted-fields.
Hotjar Architecture & Security
Data in transfer is encrypted using the following protocols and ciphers:
As a company based in the European Union, our technology and processes adhere to the strictest legal privacy requirements. In fact, we engaged a specialized law firm to assist us with the process of drafting a policy that is suitable for us, as well as for Hotjar users around the world.
Need more details or have any questions?
If you are interested in additional details, we can also provide you with a security Q&A document we created ourselves by analyzing over a hundred security questionnaires we were sent to fill-in. The document outlines the most common queries these documents typically contain.
So we can provide you with our in-depth security Q&A document or if you'd like us to answer any additional queries you might have, contact us at email@example.com.
For a more in-depth understanding of our approach to Privacy, check out this blog post written by Hotjar's CEO and Founder: https://www.hotjar.com/blog/hotjar-approach-privacy.