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Token Best Practices

Token Best Practices

  • Keep it secret. Keep it safe. The signing key should be treated like any other credentials and revealed only to services that need it.

  • Do not add sensitive data to the payload. Tokens are signed to protect against manipulation and are easily decoded. Add the bare minimum number of claims to the payload for best performance and security.

  • Give tokens an expiration. Technically, once a token is signed – it is valid forever – unless the signing key is changed or expiration explicitly set. This could pose potential issues so have a strategy for expiring and/or revoking tokens.

  • Embrace HTTPS. Do not send tokens over non-HTTPS connections as those requests can be intercepted and tokens compromised.

  • Consider all of your authorization use cases. Adding a secondary token verification system that ensures tokens were generated from your server, for example, may not be common practice, but may be necessary to meet your requirements.