React Best Practices and Security

by Jane Brewer
React Best Practices

React has gained popularity very quickly in the past few years, and it’s not hard to see why. Its popularity means that people who have never used React have questions about how to use it effectively and securely, while experienced developers have come up with best practices and advice on how to use React more safely and efficiently.

This article will help you navigate all of the opinions out there and figure out what you need to know about React security and best practices. So you can build safe and secure applications with it.

What is React ?

React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces that can be used with many different programming languages. React’s declarative, efficient approach to updating the DOM makes it an excellent choice for interactive web applications.

It uses a one-way data flow which eliminates the need to manually update things in the parent after changing state in child components (although one-way data flow can lead to more complicated debugging).

In addition, React takes advantage of ES6 features like classes, which make it easy to reuse components. To prevent security issues such as XSS attacks, React recommends using react-helmet package as well as sanitizing all user input before sending anything back up through props or events.

React Best Practices and Security

1) CSS in JS

React Best Practices are a set of conventions that developers follow to make their code more consistent, efficient, and maintainable. They include practices such as avoiding the use of className, ensuring props are up-to-date before re-rendering, using functional components when possible, and avoiding unnecessary mutations by using immutable data structures. These practices can be used to improve the user experience by making your app work faster and with less jank.

2) Higher-Order Components (HOC)

React Best Practices are a set of guidelines for structuring React apps in a way that makes them more maintainable, readable, and scalable. These best practices can also help you with security by using them to minimize the surface area for potential vulnerabilities. In particular, higher-order components (HOC) allow you to reuse code from one component inside another component without introducing any new dependencies on external packages or libraries.

3) Use Functional Components with Hooks

Functional components are a great way to create pure functions that can be reused anywhere in your application. React best practices discourage the use of state, which means functional components are perfect for avoiding side effects as well. Hooks help us make functional components even more reusable with access to lifecycle events like componentWillMount() and componentDidUpdate().

You might also want to think about using HOCs or Higher-Order Components to encapsulate logic before passing it down into a child component. The goal is to keep your code DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) so that you don’t needlessly repeat code where there could be an opportunity for abstraction and reusability.

4) Appropriate Naming and Destructuring Props

Naming props is important, because they are the first thing someone sees in your component. You should provide some context with a meaningful name. Destructuring props allows you to pull out individual parts of an object without having to extract them manually.

This helps keep things organized and makes debugging easier if you need to refer back to specific properties. You can destructure strings, arrays or objects. Remember that destructuring objects will return their nested values as well. The following code will return all of the values in {a: {b: ‘value’}}

5) Use Map Function for Dynamic Rendering of Arrays

A common pattern in React is to use the map function to render an array of data. In most cases, this is a good practice because the map function guarantees that rendering happens in order to update the view. However, it can lead to some performance issues when rendering large arrays. One approach that can help mitigate this issue is using keys with your arrays so that React knows which elements need to be updated.

React Security Best Practices

Add Security to HTTP Authentication

There are several ways to add security to HTTP authentication. One of the more popular methods is to use JSON Web Tokens (JWT). JWT is an open standard that defines a compact, URL-safe means of representing claims to be transferred between two parties. It’s often used for token-based authentication in RESTful APIs, but it can also be applied to web applications that don’t rely on cookies or other session storage mechanisms.

Secure Against Broken Authentication

When a user logs in with their username and password, the browser sends this information to the server. The server uses this information to determine if the user is authenticated. If authentication was successful, then it will log in the user. If authentication fails, then it will send back an error message. This means that if you have an unsecured web application that only checks for these two fields, then anyone can submit any username and password combination, leading to broken authentication.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

Cross-site scripting is a type of vulnerability that allows an attacker to inject malicious code into an otherwise benign website. This script can then be executed in the browser of any unsuspecting visitor, making it a very powerful attack vector. This vulnerability typically occurs when unsanitized user input is used in the output rendered by the application, or when a site includes content from other sources without sanitizing them first.

XSS vulnerabilities are often used to steal cookies and passwords, as well as infect devices with malware.

SQL Injection

A SQL injection is a type of code injection technique, used to attack data driven applications that use SQL databases. The attacker sends a string containing SQL commands in the hope that it will be interpreted as part of the query by the system. If successful, they are able to execute arbitrary commands within the context of the database management system (DBMS).


In conclusion, React development services offer a great framework for building large-scale web applications that are easy to maintain. React is open source, meaning there are many resources available to help you learn how to use it. There are also many resources available for when you need to troubleshoot your application or create new features. React is not without its drawbacks, though; it has been found that in some cases the framework can have performance issues and lead to more bugs.

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