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MS Access 2003 Security Settings

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 3/27/2010

User-level security prevents users from accidentally changing important database information and protects sensitive data, but it is not supported in Access 2007. Learn about Microsoft Access 2003 security and Access 2007 user-level security alternatives.

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    Overview

    Microsoft Access 2003 security includes user-level security, which means the database administrator grants specific permissions to individual users regarding what they can or cannot do with database tables, forms, queries, reports and macros. Access 2007 user-level security applies only to databases created and secured in Access 2003 that are opened in Access 2007. Learn about how to secure databases in Access 2003 and 2007.

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    Microsoft Access 2003 Security

    Microsoft Access 2003 Security Wizard 

    There are a couple of ways that you can add user-level security to a database in Access 2003. The first is by using the User-Level Security Wizard. To use the security wizard, open the database to which you want to add protection. Go to the Tools menu, select Security and click on User-Level Security Wizard. Follow the steps in the wizard to secure the database at a user level.

    Using the User-Level Security Wizard also creates a backup copy of the database as an added measure of protection. If you create passwords via the wizard they will be included in the report that is available to print when the wizard is complete. Be sure to keep this report in a secure location.

    If you want to protect certain objects in a database but don't need different levels of permission, you can protect the database, grant permissions to only the objects you choose and then turn off the Logon dialog box. All users will automatically be logged in as Admin users in the Users group and the permissions will already be specified.

    To do so, begin by using the User-Level Security Wizard to protect the database. Then, go to the Tools menu, point to Security and select User and Group Permissions. Go to the Permissions tab of the dialog box. Click Users or Groups and select the user or the group to whom you want to assign permissions. Select the type of object you want to protect in the Object Type box. Click the name of the object for which you want to assign permissions. If you want to select several obects, press and hold the Ctrl key while you select each one. Select the permissions you want to assign and click Apply.

    To turn off the Logon dialog, join the workgroup for which you want to deactivate it. To do so, go to the Tools menu, point to Security and select Workgroup Administrator. Click Join, enter the workgroup information and click OK. Go back to the Tools menu, point to Security and select User and Group Accounts. Go to the Users tab. Select Admin in the Name box and click Clear Password.

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    Access 2007 User-Level Security

    User-level security is not supported for Access 2007 database files. However, if you have database files created in an earlier version of Access that already have user-level security in place, you can continue to use and manage them. If you wish to do so, be sure that you do not convert the files to Access 2007 formats. To use Access 2007 user-level security for these files, open the database containing them. Go to the Database Tools tab and select Users and Permissions in the Administer group. Here, you can access User and Group Permissions, User and Group Accounts and the User-level Security Wizard.

    Access 2007 user-level security: open exclusive 

    While Access 2007 user-level security is not available, you can encrypt the database and add a password. Begin by opening the database in Exclusive Mode. Click the Office Button and then click Open. Select the database that you want to open, click the drop-down arrow next to Open and select Open Exclusive.

    Once the database is open, go to the Database Tools tab and select Encrypt with Password in the Database Tools group.Type a password into the Password box of the Set Database Password dialog, retype it into the Verify box and click OK. For tips on creating strong passwords, read Password Security - Choosing Strong Passwords. Be sure to store your passwords in a secure place in case you forget them.

    For further information on encrypting an Access database, read Encrypting Your Access Database: A How To Guide.