I have got a default ISP installation. The problem I have encountered is .htaccess isn't taken into account when existing files are requested. I added "sdfsdfs" in my .htaccess, so when I request something like /catalogue/index I do get an error. However requesting /images.test.png simply opens it as though I didn't mess anything up.
closed as not a real question by mdpc, Bryan, Scott Pack, Tom O'Connor♦, Michael Hampton♦ Dec 18 '12 at 22:05
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.htaccess files have been used very effectively for things like what you are asking.....but they have to be configured properly and properly located in the website hierarchy.
The .htaccess file is ONLY effective starting at the directory level you physically place the file in and will apply to sub-directories if it is not overridden by another .htaccess file.
You might be looking for the "directory" or "location" directives that you could place in the appropriate httpd.conf file as well.