E-DataAid provides light security features to prevent accidental viewing or editing of a data file. These security features are not foolproof, so be aware that a knowledgeable person intent on doing harm could potentially circumvent E-DataAid’s security. Furthermore, E-DataAid’s security features are designed specifically for an environment in which only one machine has E-DataAid installed on it (i.e., one machine is designated as the “analysis” machine). The remainder of this section assumes a single data analysis machine.
Applying or removing security from a data file involves the following steps:
- Selecting an Administrator
- Changing the Administrator’s password
- Opening the data file as an Administrator
- Applying or removing security from the data file
Select an Administrator
In E-DataAid, security is applied to or removed from a data file by opening the file as an Administrator (see E-DATAAID: Open a File as Administrator . The Administrator has the responsibility of applying security to or removing security from data files. To open the file as an Administrator, a user must know the Administrator’s password for the machine on which E-DataAid is installed. As soon as E-DataAid is installed, the Administrator should change the password from the default value.
Change the Password
When E-DataAid is installed, the Administrator’s password is “admin” (without the quotes). As soon as E-DataAid is installed, the Administrator should change the password to something other than the default. To change the password, use E-DataAid’s Change Password command on the File menu to display the Change Password dialog. A data file need not be open in order to change the password.
In the first field, type the current password (i.e., “admin,””, if not previously changed). The password will appear as asterisks when typed. In the second field, type the new password. Passwords are not case- sensitive and must be 4 to 8 alphanumeric characters. In the third field, type the new password again for verification. Click the OK button to change the password.
E-DataAid’s password is machine dependent. This means that the password is stored on the machine, not in the data file. Thus, it is possible to use a different password on each machine on which E-DataAid is installed. A word of caution, however, about multiple passwords. If multiple Administrators are working on the same machine, all Administrators must share the same password. Additionally, if a single Administrator would like to be able to use multiple machines, all machines must use the same password.
Open as Administrator
To open a file as an Administrator, use E-DataAid’s Admin Open command on the File menu instead of the usual Open command. Before allowing a file to be opened, E-DataAid will prompt the user for the Administrator’s password.
Type in the password and click the OK button. The Open File dialog box then appears, and E-DataAid allows a data file to be selected and opened.
Set Security Restrictions
Once a data file has been opened via the Admin Open command, the Administrator can apply or remove security from the data file using E-DataAid’s File Security command on the File menu. This command displays the Security dialog.
Most often, the Administrator will simply want to either make the file read-only or clear any security restrictions from the file. To make the file read-only, click the Disallow All Edits button on the Security dialog. To clear all security restrictions, click the Clear All Security button on the Security dialog. Click the OK button to apply the selected security settings, and save the data file. The data file must be saved, or the security settings will be lost when the file is closed.
While the file is opened as the Administrator, the data file will not look any different. To view the data file with the security restrictions visible, close the data file and reopen it with the Open command. Figure 1 below shows a read-only data file opened as an Administrator and Figure 2 displays the same data file opened as a regular User (i.e., applying security restrictions.
Figure 1. Data file with security restrictions opened as Administrator
Figure 2. Data file with security restrictions opened as User
Security settings may be applied to specific variables. For each variable, the Administrator has the option of hiding the name, hiding the data, or disallowing edits. For example, if the Administrator sets the “Hide name” option for a variable, when the data file is opened with the Open command the spreadsheet will not display any columns for that variable . Even if the user tries to restore the spreadsheet, that variable will not be displayed in the spreadsheet. If the Administrator chooses the “Hide data” option for a variable, when the data file is opened with the Open command, the spreadsheet will display a column for that variable but the cells in that column will be blank. Likewise, the “Disallow edits” setting applied to a variable will result in a display containing a column for that variable with data in the cells, but the cells will be read-only. Similar security settings may be applied to annotations.