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Privacy & Security

Dashy was built with privacy in mind. Self-hosting your own apps and services is a great way to protect yourself from the mass data collection employed by big tech companies, and Dashy was designed to keep your local services organized and accessible from a single place.

It's fully open source, and I've tried to keep to code as clear and thoroughly documented as possible, which will make it easy for you to understand exactly how it works, and what goes on behind the scenes.

For privacy and security tips, check out another project of mine: Personal Security Checklist.


External Requests#

By default, Dashy will not make any external requests, unless you configure it to. Some features (which are off by default) do require internat access, and this section outlines those features, the services used, and links to their privacy policies.

Font Awesome#

If either any of your sections or items are using font-awesome icons, then these will be fetched directly from font-awesome on page load. See the Font Awesome Privacy Policy for more info.

Favicon Fetching#

If an item's icon is set to favicon, then it will be auto-fetched from the corresponding URL. Since not all websites have their icon located at /favicon.ico, and if they do, it's often very low resolution (like 16 x 16 px). Therefore, the default behavior is for Dashy to check if the URL is public, and if so will use an API to fetch the favicon. For self-hosted services, the favion will be fetched from the default path, and no external requests will be made.

The default favicon API is Favicon Kit, but this can be changed by setting appConfig.faviconApi to an alternate source (google, clearbit, webmasterapi and allesedv are supported). If you do not want to use any API, then you can set this property to local, and the favicon will be fetched from the default path. For hosted services, this will still incur an external request.

Generative Icons#

If an item has the icon set to generative, then an external request it made to Dice Bear to fetch the uniquely generated icon. The URL of a given service is used as the key for generating the icon, but it is first hashed and encoded for basic privacy. For more info, please reference the Dicebear Privacy Policy

Other Icons#

Section icons, item icons and app icons are able to accept a URL to a raw image, if the image is hosted online then an external request will be made. To avoid the need to make external requests for icon assets, you can either use a self-hosted CDN, or store your images within ./public/item-icons (which can be mounted as a volume if you're using Docker).

Web Assets#

By default, all assets required by Dashy come bundled within the source, and so no external requests are made. If you add an additional font, which is imported from a CDN, then that will incur an external request. The same applies for other web assets, like external images, scripts or styles.

Status Checking#

The status check util will ping your services directly, and does not rely on any third party. If you are checking the uptime status of a public/ hosted application, then please refer to that services privacy policy. For all self-hosted services, requests happen locally within your network, and are not external.

Update Checks#

When the application loads, it checks for updates. The results of which are displayed in the config menu of the UI. This was implemented because using a very outdated version of Dashy may have unfixed issues. Your version is fetched from the source (local request), but the latest version is fetched from GitHub, which is an external request. This can be disabled by setting appConfig.disableUpdateChecks: true

Anonymous Error Reporting#

Error reporting is disabled by default, and no data will ever be sent without your explicit consent. In fact, the error tracking method will not even be imported unless you have actively enabled it. Sentry is used for this, it's an open source error tracking and performance monitoring tool, which is used to identify any issues which occur in the production app (if you enable it).

The crash report includes the file or line of code that triggered the error, and a 2-layer deep stack trace. Reoccurring errors will also include the following user information: OS type (Mac, Windows, Linux, Android or iOS) and browser type (Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari). Data scrubbing is enabled. IP address will not be stored. If any potentially identifiable data ever finds its way into a crash report, it will be automatically and permanently erased. All statistics collected are anonomized and stored securely, and ae automatically deleted after 14 days. For more about privacy and security, see the Sentry Docs.

Enabling anonymous error reporting helps me to discover bugs I was unaware of, and then fix them, in order to make Dashy more reliable long term. Error reporting is activated by setting appConfig.enableErrorReporting: true.

If you need to monitor bugs yourself, then you can self-host your own Sentry Server, and use it by setting appConfig.sentryDsn to your Sentry instances Data Source Name, then just enable error reporting in Dashy.

Widgets#


Local Storage#

In order for user preferences to be persisted between sessions, certain data needs to be stored in the browsers local storage. No personal info is kept here, none of this data can be accessed by other domains, and no data is ever sent to any server without your prior consent. You can view your browsers session storage by opening up the dev tools (F12) --> Application --> Storage.

The following section outlines all data that is stored in the browsers, as cookies or local storage.

Cookies#

  • AUTH_TOKEN - A unique token, generated from a hash of users credentials, to verify they are authenticated. Only used when auth is enabled

Local Storage#

  • LANGUAGE - The locale to show app text in
  • HIDE_WELCOME_BANNER - Set to true once user dismissed welcome message, so that it's not shown again
  • LAYOUT_ORIENTATION - Preferred section layout, either horizontal, vertical or auto
  • COLLAPSE_STATE - Remembers which sections are collapsed
  • ICON_SIZE - Size of items, either small, medium or large
  • THEME - Users applied theme
  • CUSTOM_COLORS - Any color modifications made to a given theme
  • BACKUP_ID - If a backup has been made, the ID is stored here
  • BACKUP_HASH - A unique hash of the previous backups meta data
  • HIDE_SETTINGS - Lets user hide or show the settings menu
  • USERNAME - If user logged in, store username. Only used to show welcome message, not used for auth
  • CONF_SECTIONS - Array of sections, only used when user applies changes locally
  • PAGE_INFO - Config page info, only used when user applies changes locally
  • APP_CONFIG - App config, only used when user applies changes locally
  • MOST_USED - If smart sort is used to order items by most used, store open count
  • LAST_USED - If smart sort is used to order items by last used, store timestamps

Dependencies#

As with most web projects, Dashy relies on several dependencies. For links to each, and a breakdown of their licenses, please see Legal.

Dependencies can introduce security vulnerabilities, but since all these packages are open source any issues are usually very quickly spotted. Dashy is using Snyk for dependency security monitoring, and you can see the latest report here. If any issue is detected by Snyk, a note about it will appear at the top of the Reamde, and will usually be fixed within 48 hours.

Note that packages listed under devDependencies section are only used for building the project, and are not included in the production environment.


Securing your Environment#

Running your self-hosted applications in individual, containerized environments (such as containers or VMs) helps keep them isolated, and prevent an exploit in one service effecting another.

There is very little complexity involved with Dashy, and therefore the attack surface is reasonably small, but it is still important to follow best practices and employ monitoring for all your self-hosted apps. A couple of things that you should look at include:

  • Use SSL for securing traffic in transit
  • Configure authentication to prevent unauthorized access
  • Keep your system, software and Dashy up-to-date
  • Ensure your server is appropriately secured
  • Manage users and SSH correctly
  • Enable and configure firewall rules
  • Implement security, malware and traffic scanning
  • Setup malicious traffic detection
  • Understand the Docker attack fronts, and follow Docker Security Best Practices

This is covered in more detail in App Management.


Security Features#

Subresource Integrity#

Subresource Integrity or SRI is a security feature that enables browsers to verify that resources they fetch are delivered without unexpected manipulation. It works by allowing you to provide a cryptographic hash that a fetched resource must match. This prevents the app from loading any resources that have been manipulated, by verifying the files hashes. It safeguards against the risk of an attacker injecting arbitrary malicious content into any files served up via a CDN.

Dashy supports SRI, and it is recommended to enable this if you are hosting your dashboard via a public CDN. To enable SRI, set the INTEGRITY environmental variable to true.

Authentication#

Dashy supports both basic auth, as well as server-based SSO using Keycloak. Full details of which, along with alternate authentication methods can be found in the Authentication Docs. If your dashboard is exposed to the internet and/ or contains any sensitive info it is strongly recommended to configure access control with Keycloak or another server-side method.


Disabling Features#

You may wish to disable features that you don't want to use, if they involve storing data in the browser or making network requests.

  • To disable smart-sort (uses local storage), set appConfig.disableSmartSort: true
  • To disable update checks (makes external request to GH), set appConfig.disableUpdateChecks: true
  • To disable web search (redirect to external / internal content), set appConfig.disableWebSearch: true
  • To keep status checks disabled (external/ internal requests), set appConfig.statusCheck: false
  • To keep font-awesome icons disabled (external requests), set appConfig.enableFontAwesome: false
  • To keep error reporting disabled (external requests and data collection), set appConfig.enableErrorReporting: false
  • To keep the service worker disabled (stores cache of app in browser data), set appConfig.enableServiceWorker: false

Reporting a Security Issue#

If you think you've found a critical issue with Dashy, please send an email to [email protected]. You can encrypt it, using 0688 F8D3 4587 D954 E9E5 1FB8 FEDB 68F5 5C02 83A7. You should receive a response within 48 hours.

All non-critical issues can be raised as a ticket.

Please include the following information:

  • Type of issue (e.g. buffer overflow, SQL injection, cross-site scripting, etc.)
  • Full paths of source file(s) related to the manifestation of the issue
  • The location of the affected source code (tag/branch/commit or direct URL)
  • Any special configuration required to reproduce the issue
  • Step-by-step instructions to reproduce the issue
  • Proof-of-concept or exploit code (if possible)
  • Impact of the issue, including how an attacker might exploit the issue