Guides / Sending and managing data / Prepare your records for indexing

Algolia accepts all your data “as is” without changing anything. Algolia also returns all data in your index unmodified, including HTML tags and their properties. In other words, Algolia doesn’t clean your data.

How to clean your data

You can clean data:

  • Before you send your records for indexing. Make sure your data is safe. This helps protect your app and users from possible security risks like cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.
  • When showing results. By default, Algolia includes all attributes in the response, even if you don’t show them. To exclude attributes from the response, set them as unretrievableAttributes.
  • As users type into search. Any HTML or code they may enter in the search box exposes you to an XSS attack because Algolia sends the query back in the response.

The data cleaning process is similar wherever it’s applied:

  1. Identify sensitive data. Determine which parts of your records could potentially be harmful if misused. This includes any user-generated content or records that include special characters or scripts.
  2. Determine how to clean potentially harmful data. This could involve preventing code injection by detecting and removing scripts, and replacing special HTML characters such as < and > with their entity name or number.

How Algolia helps

Algolia ignores HTML tags during search. For example, your records might contain the HTML tag <strong>:

  "description": "She is amazingly <strong>powerful</strong>, deeply visionary."

But, because Algolia ignores HTML tags during search, searching for the word “strong” wouldn’t return this record.

Algolia removes some characters from the response:

Further reading

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