Make the data in your Access tables unreadable
In my Access Security Seminar, I teach you everything you need to know to lock down and secure your Access front-end database. You can set up users and groups, control who has access to what forms and reports, keep a log tracking activity, and lock down your database design so nobody can make changes or see your VBA code.
The problem is that your back-end database file (your tables) has to remain open and exposed. Anybody who knows Access can find it and poke around in your data. Unless you have a database server (like SQL Server or Oracle) on your network, you have no other way of locking down your data. Anybody who knows Access can see anything. Not good.
In this seminar, I teach you how to hide your data by encrypting it. If anybody happens to find your Access tables, all they will see is unreadable gibberish. Meanwhile, the database will seamlessly translate that gibberish into real data for the users of your database who have access to view and edit it. Oh, and as a side note, you can also use this technique to send encrypted emails to people too.
Main Seminar Goals
We will begin by building a simple customer table that will hold all of our information. The public information (name, address, etc.) that doesn't need to be encrypted will just have a single field. The private data (credit limit, notes, etc.) will have an extra field for the encrypted value.
We'll set up a public customer form - again with just the data that everyone can see (in this case, just the customer's name). We'll make a button to open a private form that has the secret data. Now, I show you how to control WHO can gain access to these records inside the database in my Security Seminar. In that Seminar you learn how to set up user and group accounts, and control who can see what forms, reports, and data.
Then we'll build a second form to show the private data. There will be VBA code that runs when the form opens that decrypts (unscrambles) any hidden data (in this case, the credit limit and notes). Then when the user clicks the "Save & Close" button, those fields are encrypted again and the data saved to the table. I'll show you how to lock this form down so the user MUST click on your Save button to close it, which runs your code.
Now if anyone happens to come across your back-end database file that contains your tables, all they will see is gibberish in the table itself. The actual data has been wiped, and they see garbage.
This solution isn't perfect. Someone can still erase or edit your data. That's one of the problems with Microsoft Access... the back-end tables aren't secure. This solution, however, will allow you the best possible means for keeping people from viewing sensitive data in your database without having an actual database server. Of course, if you have any questions about whether or not this seminar is for you, please contact me.
This is a Developer-Level Seminar. There will be a lot of VBA. It is strongly recommended that you have completed my entire Access Beginner and Expert series. My Developer 1 class is highly recommended so you understand the basics of programming in VBA. If not, at least watch my free Intro to VBA video.
I am using Access 2010 in this seminar, however the lessons are perfectly valid for all versions of Access. It's currently 2022 and I've made sure everything works fine in Access 2019 and Office 365.
Enroll now so that you can watch these lessons, learn with us, post questions, and more.
Please feel free to post your questions or comments below. Thanks.
microsoft access data encryption, hide data, encrypt table
You may want to read these articles from the 599CD News: