A gentle solution for preventing hard coded passwords in R scripts. Uses data encryption with keys.
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A gentle solution for preventing hard coded passwords in R scripts. Uses data encryption with keys. The hidePwd package use the data encryption functionality of the PKI package and has easy functions for encrypting and decrpyting values of variables in R over different R-sessions.

Use case

The main purpose of this package is to substitute hard code passwords in scripts of the entire repository with variables containing the encrypted value of the password. The creater of the password can share the password and key to every trusted user. Every user that has the encrypted password and the key, can decipher the password and access the code in an R-session. In the end, both the creator and the trusted user do not expose the value of the password in the entire repository with R-scripts, only the name of the variable.

For several functions it is required to insert user credentials like the username and a password. For several reasons it is not desirable that the password is visable in the R-script. For security reasons the password should be hidden and not be exposed in the script or the same directory of the script.

An encrypted password is the solution. By generating a key and encrypt a password with the generated key, the original pattern of the password is not exposed in the script for the application.


  • Password not exposed in R-scripts;
  • Access to a database restricted to people with the key;
  • Hide other values of variables that you do not want to have exposed;
  • Simplified use of data encryption and decryption in R.

Basic usage

Basic usage R package hidePwd



Example usage

Script for generating a key and an encrypted password


# create a key
db_key <- createPwdKey()

# encrypt a password
password_encrypted <- pwdEncrypt("HbgqeM#*CQ#!9", db_key)

# (optional) check the encrypted password

# save the encrypted password
pwdSaveRDS(password_encrypted, "db_password_encrypted.rds") # filename for encrypted password requires the ".rds" extension

# save the key that is needed to decrypt the password
saveKeyRSA(key = db_key, "db_key.rsa") # filename for the key requires the ".rsa" extension

Script for using the encrypted password in an R script

# import the encrypted password
encrypted_password <- pwdLoadRDS("db_password_encrypted.rds")

# import key to decrypt password
# key_db <- readKeyRDS("db_password_key.rds")

# import rsa key to decrypt password
key_db <- readKeyRSA("db_key.rsa")

# (optional) show encrypted password

# decrypt encrypted password with the imported key
db_password <- pwdDecrypt(encrypted_password, key_db)

# use the variable with the password in a function
con = dbConnect(MySQL(),
      password=db_password, # use the variable with the decrypted password instead of the hard coded password