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Prevent Unauthorised Users Direct Access To Files

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I run a web site on TCH. It's basically PHP. A section of this web site needs to be secure. Within this secure section I don't want people to be able to directly access any JPG, TXT or other data files just by typing their full URL. It must not be possible for unauthorised users to access any files within the secure section (not JPG files, TXT files or any other sort of data file).

 

I don't want to transmit passwords in clear text.

 

Within the PHP code I need to be able to detect who the logged in user is.

 

I would prefer the authorised users and their usernames and passwords (encrypted) to be stored in my MySQL database.

 

What is the best/easiest way of doing this?

 

Thanks - Rowan

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