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PHP Basic Encryption help needed

Hi all,

Using PHP, I am trying to connect to an external service which requires authentication. Rather than storing the private authentication text in the clear on a PHP Page with variables, I'm curious what the best encryption method would be for this purpose.

Some choices i've seen - mcrypt - openssl_encrypt and others...

Some of the possibilities seem outdated. Can anyone point me to a current basic standard for 2018 to get me started

Thanks - Dave