1. Technology

How To Secure a Directory on Your Web Using Htaccess

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Htaccess is a password protection scheme used by Apache Web servers. It is easy to set up once you understand the terminology.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 15 minutes

Here's How:

  1. First you need to create a password file that contains the user account(s) that have access to the directory. Open a new text file called
    .htpasswd
  2. Use a password encryption program to create your passwords. Paste the lines into your .htpasswd file and save the file. You will have one line for every username that requires access.
  3. Upload the .htpasswd file to a directory on your Web server that is not live on the Web. In other words, you should not be able to go to http://YOUR_URL/.htpasswd - it should be in a home directory or other location that is secure.
  4. Then you need to create your HTaccess file for the directory you want to protect. Open a text file called
    .htaccess
  5. Add the following to the file:
    
    AuthUserFile /path/to/htpasswd/file/.htpasswd
    AuthGroupFile /dev/null
    AuthName "Name of Area"
    AuthType Basic
    require valid-user
  6. Change
    /path/to/htpasswd/file/.htpasswd
    to the full path to the .htpasswd file you uploaded in step 3.
  7. Change
    "Name of Area"
    to the name of the site section being protected. This is used primarily when you have multiple areas with different protection levels.
  8. Save the file and upload it to the directory you want protected.
  9. Test that the password works by accessing the URL. If your password doesn't work, go back to the encryption programs and encrypt it again, remember that the username and password will be case-sensitive. If you are not prompted for a password, contact your system administrator to make sure that HTAccess is turned on for your site.

Tips:

  1. This will only work on Web servers that support Htaccess. If you don't know if your server supports Htaccess, you should contact your hosting provider.
  2. Make sure that the .htaccess file is text, not Word or some other format.
  3. To keep your passwords secure, the user file should not be accessible from a Web browser - but it must be on the same machine as the Web pages.

What You Need

  • htaccess support
  • telnet access
  • text editor

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