Encrypt and Decrypt Secret Documents with PHP

Andrea Pollastri
1 min readMar 16, 2022


Maybe you would like to encrypt some of your documents to avoid the content of them could be shared with unwanted users.

In this story, I will show you a simple solution based on PHP 5/7/8 that lets you encrypt and decrypt strings, protect them with a password and securely share them with other users.

To do it we have to build an encrypt function such as:

$data_to_encrypt = ‘Secret Data Here!’;
$secret_key = ‘Secret_123’;
$encrypted = openssl_encrypt($data_to_encrypt, ‘aes256’, $secret_key, 0, ‘IV_16-bit_string’);echo $encrypted; // sh4XQQ1FWJiarQo4qp97OqOOF4sqA00VqBYjDWP+XbE=

This code will generate an encrypted string:

This string contains the original data: Secret Data Here!

And it’s protected by a secret key (password): Secret_123

You can share it with another user or conserve it, the code to decrypt it is:

$data_to_decrypt = ‘sh4XQQ1FWJiarQo4qp97OqOOF4sqA00VqBYjDWP+XbE=’;
$secret_key = ‘Secret_123’;
$decrypted = openssl_decrypt($data_to_decrypt, ‘aes256’, $secret_key, 0, ‘IV_16-bit_string’);echo $decrypted; // Secret Data Here!