Filter Session Data

Every time a request is made on a web app, AppSignal collects the session data that were sent with the request for supported frameworks. Sessions contain data specific to your application, but some dependencies an app uses may store data here as well. For example: when a user signs in, some data of the user who is signed in is stored in a session.

Sessions can contain sensitive or personally identifiable information that should not leave the app. Make sure this data is filtered out before it is sent to the AppSignal servers, this way the app doesn't leak any sensitive data.

🔍 Read more about session data filtering and what types of session data to set up filtering for in our session data filtering topic.

⚠️ Do not send personal data to AppSignal. If request session data contain personal data, please use filtering to avoid sending this data to AppSignal. Follow this step and the next steps to set up this filtering.

Session Data Filtering

Basic session data filtering in the AppSignal integrations works with a denylist, a list of keys to filter out and to not send. In the integrations it's possible to set a "filter session data" option in the AppSignal configuration with a list of session data keys to filter.

Any session data values that are filtered out by these systems will be replaced with a [FILTERED] value. This way the list of session data in the app data on AppSignal.com still includes the session data key, but not the value. Making it easier to see that a value was sent, but the potentially sensitive data was filtered out.

Example

For example, an application with this AppSignal config:

filter_session_data: ["password"]

Results in this view for the session data of a web request on AppSignal.com:

{
  "password": "[FILTERED]"
}

This guide will show you how to configure your applications session filtering denylist based on what language your application uses:

Ruby

In the Ruby integration, AppSignal automatically stores the contents of the user's session for Rails apps and other frameworks. Specific values can be filtered out or it can be disabled entirely.

In session data filtering, there's support for nested hashes and nested hashes in arrays. Any hash we encounter in your session data will be filtered.

To use this filtering, add the following to your config/appsignal.yml file in the environment group you want it to apply. The filter_session_data value is an Array of Strings.

# Example: config/appsignal.yml
production:
  filter_session_data:
    - name
    - email
    - api_token
    - token

Elixir

In the Elixir integration, AppSignal automatically stores the contents of the user's session for Phoenix apps. Specific values can be filtered out or it can be disabled entirely.

In the session data filtering, there's support for nested hashes and nested hashes in arrays. Any hash we encounter in your session data will be filtered.

To use this filtering, add the following to your config/appsignal.exs file. The filter_session_data value is an Array of Strings.

# Example: config/appsignal.exs
config :appsignal, :config,
  filter_session_data: ["name", "email", "api_token", "token"]

Node.js

If a request stores session data on the sample, use the session data filter to filter out any data you do not want to include.

In the session data filtering, there's support for nested hashes and nested hashes in arrays. Any hash we encounter in your session data will be filtered.

To use this filtering, use the filterSessionData config option to select which session data keys to filter out.

// Example: appsignal.js
const { Appsignal } = require("@appsignal/nodejs");
 
const appsignal = new Appsignal({
  // Other config options
  filterSessionData: ["name", "email", "api_token", "token"],
});
 
module.exports = { appsignal };

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