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Submitting Passwords With PHP

When you build websites with user registration and passwords, you may find you will need to allow users to update passwords and other fields. However, there are some slight differences you must take into consideration when you update text and passwords. With text, you often use a sanitizing function like addslashes or mysql_real_escape_string() to escape the data. With passwords, you will sanitize the string with the mysql_real_escape_string() function and use a password function like sha() or md5() to convert the text into an encrypted password string.

Is is very important to note that when you work with passwords, an empty $_POST variable and a password function applied to the $_POST variable are note the same thing. The latter is actually a encrypted string.

$password = $_POST['password']; // This is empty
$password = mysql_real_escape_string($_POST['password']); // This is empty
$password = mysql_real_escape_string(sha1($_POST['password'])); // This is not empty

echo "Posted password is empty";
echo "Posted password is not empty";