The computing revolution has given us so many positive developments from the ability to communicate with people on the other side of the world with the click of a mouse to storing a near infinite amount of data either online or within a highly sophisticated digital database.

But one thing that always makes people nervous about the advancements of the digital age is the issue of security. Because data and product is no longer a physical property people worry that it will just disappear; it feels less safe than holding a tangible object in your hand. Also there is a great concern about the wrong people getting hold of your information and, whilst there was always the risk of physical theft and burglary, the concept of cyber-crime casts a particularly chilling shadow over the otherwise optimistic hinterland of information technology.

Unfortunately there will always be hackers, spammers and operators that will find ways of getting the information that they want, but the risks of losing your data either to chance or to criminality are being lowered all the time thanks to major advancements in sophisticated security systems for leading software packages.

Microsoft Access 2010 builds on features introduced in the 2007 version of the program to significantly enhance security for your databases. The encryption technology in Access 2010 is the most sophisticated yet in the Office suite and for the first time Microsoft also provide you with the option to implement third party encryption thus giving you greater freedom and choice in how you protect your databases.

The Trust Center is an accessible tool for creating and amending security settings for your databases whereby you can place databases in trusted locations. These databases will then open with the levels of security that you have previously specified, although the Trust Center also contains logic to decide whether or not the database is safe to open adding another layer of security for your data.

Should the Trust Center determine that the database emanates from an unsafe location then it will automatically disable crucial parts of the database's functionality (such as macros, VBA code and ActiveX controls) to ensure that no unauthorised modifications can be made to the database. If you trust the location of the database even when the Trust Center has disabled its content you can manually enable it by clicking Enable Content on the message bar.

As previously mentioned Microsoft Access 2010 contains stronger encryption technology than previous versions of the program, using more sophisticated algorithms to give your databases the highest possible level of security. The creation of a digital password encrypts the data and makes it unreadable by other tools unless the correct password is entered. This new technology is also available to users of Access 2007 and it is a simple matter to remove the old password system and install the new encryption technology in its place.

It is possible to open older databases in Microsoft Access 2010 but they will open in disabled mode and must be manually enabled by the user. Likewise databases created in older file formats can be authorised by the use of a digital signature that confirms that executable content in the database originated with the signer.