Use files ~ "^.ht"
I'm sure why your configuration contains an asterisk and it may not be related but this is the common config I use for protecting the htaccess file and includes htpassword and anything else named
Try changing your current config to make use of my code:
# The following lines prevent .htaccess and .htpasswd files from being
# viewed by Web clients.
<Files ~ "^\.ht">
Deny from all
Also ensure that you actually have AllowOverride enabled since they may be interlinked with one another, you can set this within the configuration of your sites normally found in enabled-sites.
Another Possibility is that your config contains syntax errors simply do a
apachectl configtest to see if any errors are reported in your configuration - unlikely but it can happen.
Another cause could be that your setup is not actually using the httpd.conf and using another config file, several different Linux distros use different configuration files, for example Ubuntu does not use httpd.conf but actually uses apache2.conf. Do a
apache2 -V and it should report what conf it uses, if
apache2 -V reports nothing try a
httpd -V for example:
root@RAX-test-update:~# apache2 -V
Server version: Apache/2.2.22 (Ubuntu)
Server built: Feb 13 2012 01:51:50
Server's Module Magic Number: 21051146:30
Server loaded: APR 1.4.6, APR-Util 1.3.12
Compiled using: APR 1.4.5, APR-Util 1.3.12
Server MPM: Prefork
forked: yes (variable process count)
Server compiled with....
-D APR_HAVE_IPV6 (IPv4-mapped addresses enabled)