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Security

We like to joke around a lot, but here is where we stop and become quite serious.

Access

The YNAB Team does not access or interact with customer data as part of normal operations. There are cases where a customer requests that YNAB access their data, or where required by law. All customer data is access-controlled, accompanied by customer approval, and carries with it documentation surrounding the reason for access and the access start and end time. Currently six engineers have access to the production database that stores customer data. A YNAB Team member’s violation of our customer data access policy will result in immediate dismissal.

(We do analyze anonymous, aggregate data for internal business purposes. See our privacy policy for details.)

Your YNAB account password is one-way salted and hashed using multiple iterations of a key derivation function for passwords. (Those sound like made up words, but these are best practices!) Even if someone were to steal the YNAB database of passwords, they would not know your password and would be forced to (very slowly!) guess every possible password in order to find it.

We prevent brute force attacks where a password is guessed multiple times in a row. We also help you choose stronger passwords by 1) requiring that passwords be eight characters or longer, and 2) specifically preventing you from using the top 2,085 most commonly used passwords. (It’s quite an interesting list, should you choose to Google it.)

Your data is encrypted at rest when stored on our servers. That means that even IF someone could break in and steal the hard drives where your data is stored, they couldn’t read it. Also, should you (sadly) choose to delete your YNAB account, all of your budget data is completely and irreversibly removed from the YNAB database. We do not simply mark your account as inactive. We completely destroy all account data. (To be clear, you explicitly request this nuclear deletion. If you happen to let your account lapse accidentally, we don’t assume you mean DESTROY ALL MY DATA. That’d be a horrible assumption.)

Data Retention

We retain account data for a period of time after an account expires, whether through trial expiration or subscription expiration, unless you delete your account as described above.

Once an account has become inactive beyond the period of time described below, we will delete its budget data – if you don’t need YNAB, we don’t need your account data, and you probably don’t want us to have it. (Keep in mind that if you cancel your account, it remains active until the end of your subscription. The timeline below doesn’t start until that subscription expires.)

We will delete accounts and their data:

Infrastructure

Our entire infrastructure is built on Heroku, which leverages the Amazon Web Service (AWS) technology. This is the same technology trusted by government agencies, including my favorite, the CIA. Amazon continually manages risk and undergoes recurring assessments to comply with industry standards. Heroku’s entire security policy is here.

We use Finicity as our provider of direct connect financial data aggregation from institutions. Finicity is an industry-veteran in the financial aggregation arena. You can find Finicity’s specific security policies here. YNAB does not store your bank credentials, but relies upon Finicity and its industry-leading security precautions.

Traffic

All data sent between your computer and YNAB is bank-grade or better encryption. We force your browser to use an encrypted connection and won’t let your computer talk to our servers unless that connection is secure.

Specifically around the traffic encryption, we use 128-bit encryption (AES_128_GCM). This provides an extremely high level of encryption, considered industry standard. For our SSL certificate, we use an Extended Validation (EV) SSL cert issued to You Need A Budget LLC. This provides the highest level available of trust and security as it subjected us to an exhaustive and thorough verification process.

We take advantage of a new security feature in your browser called “Content Security Policy” settings. This makes certain types of attacks against YNAB impossible.

Social Engineering Security

This massive technical feat resulting in a moat of fire-breathing space dragons surrounding your data is useless if someone cons you into handing them your username and password.

  1. No YNAB Team member will ever initiate communication with you and ask for your username or password. If someone asks you for either of those, it’s not us. Only provide your username and password when logging into YNAB.
  2. YNAB will always use https://app.youneedabudget.com as the domain name. It will show a green bar (Extended Validation SSL). Always look for this when logging into YNAB, or following any link clicked from a bookmark or email.

Always Vigilant

At YNAB, we subject our servers, source code and staff to regular 3rd-party security audits from teams that audit other large security-conscious companies such as Github, AT&T, Digital Ocean and Node.

We have also taken a page from companies like Facebook and Google, and have a private bug bounty program where we pay “good guy” hackers that find any vulnerabilities for weaknesses. We’ll be opening this program up to the public soon.

If you’d like to report a vulnerability, please send us your Bugcrowd username and a brief description of the issue to [email protected]. We’ll invite you into our program and have you submit the full details, proof of concept, etc, through our secure, monitored program.

Potential security bugs and vulnerabilities can be reported to us directly at [email protected]. Security is our top priority.

For even lighter reading: Our terms of service and privacy policy.

YNAB.

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