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mysql_real_escape_string() is better.Basically, it escapes to any character that could terminate a string or otherwise confuse the MySQL engine. So, if you had a query that looked like

$result = mysql_query("SELECT * FROM users WHERE username=\"{$_POST['username']}\" AND password=\"" . sha1($_POST['password']) . "\"");

then without mysql_real_escape_string(), someone could enter in (e.g., through a form) the username =

" OR true#

(# = MySQL comment delimiter).Then your query would look like

SELECT * FROM users WHERE username="" OR true#" AND password=""

Thereby compromising your system as they would be able to login without entering even a correct username. mysql_real_escape_string() would escape the " and the # in the username string, thereby preventing people from "injecting" SQL into your script's queries.

$username = mysql_real_escape_string($_POST['username']);$password = sha1($_POST['password']); //I hope you hash your passwords; no need to escape a hash$result = mysql_query("SELECT * FROM users WHERE username=\"$username\" AND password=\"$password\"");

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