Category Archives: ms-access

Do-it-yourself password management

If you use a text file to store your list of passwords and you feel bad because you know its not a good idea, but you also don’t want to buy a solution you might consider building a more secure solution yourself. I say more secure because its all relative. We are taking step up from text file.

In any case, I’ve heard that the newest version of ms-access has greater encryption strength so why not put it to good use.

You can build a very simple version quickly and easily. You don’t even need to use forms.  All you need it to do is store a few fields. You can do it in one table. keep it simple.

Create a table :add an id as the primary key column, a key field (that will store the password), a name field, to help locate the password, a description field because frequently authentication and identification can involve a lot of steps, you need a place to take notes.

keyWith the exception of the key description field, I would keep unique indexes partly as a way to ensure passwords are not reused and partly to make it easier to retrieve the data. keyid would already have a unique index because it is the primary key. key description doesn’t need to to be unique but its good to have an index in case you need to do some searching among records.


Next encrypt the database.  Your main problem here is choosing a strong password and storing that password safely. If you use a random password that is hard to remember, keep a hard copy stored in a safe place.

msaccess_encryptAfter you encrypt it, ms access may warn you that row level locking is not compatible with block level encryption. Just click ‘OK’, you are done. This design is just a single table but you could add forms to it and other helpful features or not; simple is often the best choice.