Encrypting an Access database is not the same as adding security features such as a password. Instead, encrypting allows you to protect the data in your database from those who may try to scan your database for keywords and information. In this edition of Quick Access Database Courses, you’ll learn more about why you might want to encrypt and decrypt your database and how to accomplish this in 10 simple steps.
If you were to open a Microsoft Access file in a program other than Access, it would at first look like a mess of odd characters. However, if you were to really dig around, you would be able to find some bits of information stored in your database. To prevent this you’ll want to encrypt your database. Once you encrypt your database, some functions may perform slower when you’re working with your database. To solve this, you’ll want to decrypt your database while working with it.
You can learn more about encrypting and decrypting in classroom based Access Database Courses, but this Quick Course will give you how to accomplish these important tasks and allow you to test your work.
Let’s get started!
1. Open an existing Access database.
2. Hover over the tools menu to reveal the sub-menu, then choose security and then encode/decode database.
3. Save the file as filename_encode in your folder of choice. Close the database and click “yes” to block unsafe features if necessary.
4. Open 2 blank text editors such as notepad.
5. In one text editor, open the encoded file and in the other, open the non encoded file. Although the non encoded file may seem like gibberish, there are still pieces of information throughout the file. However, you’ll notice that it is impossible to read the encrypted file.
6. Close your text editors and navigate back to Access to learn how to decrypt a file. You’ll need to close Access and restart for the new security features to take effect.
7. Open the filename_encode database file and navigate through the safety warning by clicking “open” if necessary.
8. Hover over the tools menu to reveal the sub-menu, then choose security and then encode/decode database.
9. Save the file as filename_decode. Your database is now unencrypted!
10. To check your work, start another a blank text editor and open the unencrypted document and compare all 3 side by side. You’ll see that the two unencrypted documents are identical!
You may be surprised at the simplicity of this and other Quick Access Database Courses. Many people are under the impression that Access is a difficult prorgam to work with, but then find it to be surprisingly easy after taking one or two courses.
To really get fancy with your databases, you’ll probably want to invest a few days in some classroom based Access database courses, but what you’ll discover is well worth the investment. You, your co-workers, or if you’re a manager, your staff will likely find countless ways to increase their productivity and make their jobs more simple after a couple of Access database courses.