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PHP Script to prevent XSS, or Cross-Site Scripting

16/03/2022 | |0 comment

XSS, or Cross-Site Scripting, is a type of injection attack that occurs when malicious scripts are injected into a web page. It can be used to steal sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card numbers, or to manipulate the behavior of a web application. In order to prevent XSS injections in PHP, the following steps should be taken:

1. Input Validation: All user input should be validated before it is used. This includes checking for special characters, HTML tags, and JavaScript code. Any input that fails validation should be rejected and/or sanitized.

2. Output Encoding: Output should be encoded before it is displayed on the web page. This is done to prevent any malicious code from being executed.

3. Content Security Policy (CSP): CSP is a policy that specifies which sources are allowed to load content on the page. By using CSP, it is possible to prevent malicious code from being executed.

4. Secure Cookies: Cookies should be set with the secure flag to ensure that they are only sent over HTTPS connections.

5. Use Libraries: Security libraries, such as HTML Purifier and OWASP ESAPI, can be used to automatically sanitize and validate user input.

By taking these steps to prevent XSS injections, it is possible to safeguard your web application from malicious attackers. It is important to note that these measures should be implemented in combination with other security measures, such as authentication and authorization.

The PHP script below is designed to reduce the risk of PHP XSS, or Cross-Site Scripting attacks


// use in-built function to strip tags
function stripInput($input){
  return strip_tags($input);

// use htmlspecialchars() to convert special characters to html entities
function escapeInput($input){
  return htmlspecialchars($input);

// use prepared statements to protect from SQL injections
function prepareStatement($sql){
  $stmt = mysqli_prepare($sql);
  return $stmt;

// use output buffering to prevent XSS
function outputBuffer(){
  return ob_get_clean();

// use header() to ensure cross-site requests are not allowed
function preventCRSF(){
  header('X-XSS-Protection: 1; mode=block');




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