The present invention is a secure system and method for providing automated access to electronic information stored in a database in either a local or remote location. The system utilizes a machine-readable code printed on a document, referred to herein as an intelligent document since it stores information used to automatically access the information. The machine-readable symbol is encoded with source data (including a file location pointer) that is first obfuscated by generating a checksum of the source data, encrypting the source data by using the checksum as an encryption key, and assembling the checksum with the encrypted source data prior to encoding. The machine-readable symbol is then printed and distributed by the vendor by any logical means to the end user. The end user then scans the code via appropriate code scanning (e.g. bar code scanning) equipment, and de-obfuscates the scanned data by parsing the checksum, decrypting the remainder of the scanned data string (which includes the file location pointer) using the parsed checksum as a decryption key, computing a checksum of the decrypted data string, and comparing the computed checksum with the parsed checksum to determine the validity of the code. The file location pointer is then used to access the appropriate file. In a preferred embodiment, a Web browser program is launched, and the URL of the vendor's Web site is accessed through the Internet.