Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Opening Databases That Contain Macros
Keeping a macro from turning into a virus
Writing a virus is no small feat; it requires pretty advanced programming
skills. To qualify as a virus, a macro has to be intentionally written to do
bad things to your computer and to replicate itself. Writing code that makes
copies of itself in other files on other computers isn’t easy. If you’re concerned
that you may accidentally create a virus, you can stop worrying about that.
Creating a virus by accident is about as likely as writing an entire book, or
driving across the country, by accident.
If the database is something that you created yourself, it’s absolutely,
positively, 100 percent safe to enable the macros. You have several options:
✦ Put up with the annoying security warning message every time you
open the database, and click the Enable Content button each time.
Actually, Access may not show you this message when you reopen
the database if nothing significant has changed in the database. This
method works, but it’s annoying.
✦ Store the database in a folder you’ve indicated that Access can trust —
a trusted location. (We envision this folder’s looking like a CIA safe
house in a spy movie.) We describe this folder in the next section,
“Putting your database in a safe place.”
✦ Digitally sign your database by adding security code. This code — a
digital signature — tells Access, “It’s okay. This is my own database, and
I can vouch for its safety.” This digital signature works only when you
open the database on your own computer. “Signing your database,” later
in this chapter, describes how to sign your database.
✦ Enable all macros in all databases and just wait for a virus to come
along. We don’t recommend this option. Access’s security features may
be annoying, but they were created because computers get infected by
viruses. We’ll bet that you don’t want your computer to be one of them.
If you do decide to change the security settings for Access, click the File
tab on the Ribbon, click Options, click Trust Center, click Trust Center
Settings, and click Macro Settings to see your options.
We recommend storing your databases in a trusted location or signing them
digitally. You don’t have to put up with annoying messages, and you don’t
open your Access program to viruses from other people.
Putting your database in a safe place
You can tell Access that a folder is a trusted location — that is, a place
where only you and your trusted associates can store databases. To tell
Access that the databases in a specific folder are safe, follow these steps: