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Lesson 5 Encrypting and decrypting a database
Objective Encrypt and Decrypt an Access Database and identify the Reasons to use Encryption.

Encrypt and Decrypt an Access Database and identify the Reasons to use Encryption

There are times when you might want to protect the data in your application beyond what Access security options can do. Encrypting your database protects it from being exported for use in other programs or applications. With encryption, users of your database can access your data in your application only, but they cannot take the data out to use elsewhere.
Encrypting a database is actually quite straightforward. Before showing how to encrypt a database, see what the Consulting407.mdb database looks like before being encrypted when you examine it with Wordpad.exe. You will be able to read all of the data:

Consulting407.mdb database unencrypted view in Wordpad

To encrypt a database, do not open it first:
  1. From Tools menu choose Security, then Encrypt/Decrypt Database.
  2. The first dialog opened will ask you which database to encrypt/decrypt. Choose the database and click OK.
  3. Next you will be asked what database to create. Fill in the name of the database you want to create and click OK.
After the database has been encrypted, if you try to examine it by using Wordpad.exe again, it will look like the following image:


Consulting407.mdb database encrypted view in Wordpad

For added protection, combine encryption with the use of one of the security methods discussed earlier. Security limits who can use your database, while encryption limits users from taking your data away. After you have encrypted the database, if you decide you want to decrypt it, follow the same steps as encrypting (above), but select the already encrypted database. Access will recognize that it is encrypted and will decrypt it.
Encrypting Database Performance - Cost
In the next lesson, we'll take a look at the wonderful world of Replication.