Lesson 51-- Passwords & Security

The Goldenseal small business software includes a password protection system to control access from each person who uses your company file. You can create a different level of access for each employee.

This lesson shows you how to create and use passwords, and how to use the Audit Trail and other security features.

Creating Passwords

To create a new password for someone who uses Goldenseal only to enter payroll data, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Passwords from the Options menu.
  2. You'll see a list of passwords.
  3. Click the New button.
  4. Enter the user's name, or however you'd like to name the access level.
  5. Enter the password that is used to enter this level. You can use any text, numbers or punctuation, up to 31 characters. 
  6. Use the slider controls to set the level of access to each part of the company data.
  7. When you are finished, click OK. You'll need to confirm the password as you leave.

HINT: If you hold down the Shift key when you move a control, all the other controls in the same column will move to the same place.

Access Levels

Four levels of access are available for data entry in each basic part of Goldenseal:

 No Access-- The user will not be able to see or do anything.

 View Access-- The user can see records, but can't create new records or change existing ones.

 Write Access-- The user can create records or change existing records.

 Full Access-- The user can create records or change existing records. The user can also change print forms or data entry layouts.

Three levels of access are available for reports:

 No Access-- The user will not be able to view any reports.

 Print Access-- The user can view and print records.

 Full Access-- The user can view and print reports. The user can also change report layouts.

Four levels of access are available for passwords:

 No Access-- The user will not be able to view or change any passwords, including their own.

 Write Access-- The user can view and change their own password.

 Full Write Access-- The user can view and change their own password, and passwords for any other users who have a lower level of access.

 Full Access-- The user can change any passwords.

The audit trail can bet set to No Access, View Access, or Full Access.

NOTE: Even with full access, you can only change comments in the audit trail-- all other fields are permanently locked.

Master Password

There is always one master password which allows access to everything in the program. You cannot delete the master password.

To assign a new password to the master password, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Passwords from the Options menu.
  2. You'll see a list of passwords.
  3. Select Master Password from the list, and click the Edit button.
  4. Type a password into the Password field.
  5. Click OK. You need to confirm the password as you leave.

WARNING: Don't forget the master password! If you lose all full access passwords, you may permanently lose access to your data.

Time Lockout

Use time lockout to restrict access to records that are older than a certain date. A user with a password that has a lockout will not be able to change records that are older than the lockout date.

NOTE: Time lockout applies only to users that have write access. If a user has full access to a level, they'll be able to change records no matter how old they are (either the records or the user).

Using Passwords

When you first start with Goldenseal, it does not require passwords. Anyone can do anything, anywhere in the program. If you don't create any passwords, that is how the program will remain.

HINT: If only one person uses the program, or if all users are trusted, you can probably avoid using passwords. However you might still want to use a password as protection from snoopy outsiders.

Once you have created new passwords, Goldenseal will ask you for a password each time you open the company file.

Choose the password level that applies to you, and enter the password.

HINT: Goldenseal passwords are not case-sensitive. If your password is 'Gargoyle', then you can type gargoyle or gArgOYLE.

If you enter your password incorrectly, you'll be allowed a few more tries to enter it correctly.

Password Access

Some menu commands are not available to those whose password access is not high enough. When you open an account or transaction window, Goldenseal checks your password, and give you the type of access from the Password list.

  • No Access-- no records will be visible.
  • Read Access-- you can see records, but they are always locked and can't be changed.
  • Data Entry or Full Access-- you can see records, and you can change them unless they are closed, or are older than the time lockout date.

If you are using passwords, Goldenseal displays your current level of access on the left side of the browser window.

Password Hints

To be practical, passwords need to be simple enough so you can remember them without writing them down. They also need to be complex enough that someone else can't deduce them.

We suggest a nonsense phrase of items that only you know about (you have 23 characters to play with). For example, "garg19oyle flam87ingo", which is Turtle Creek's founding year, favorite roof ornament and favorite bird.

Deleting Passwords

If you want to stop using a password, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Passwords from the Options menu.
  2. Click on the password you want to remove.
  3. Click the Delete button.

If you remove all but the master password, Goldenseal will stop asking for a password when you open the company file.

Audit Trail

The audit trail lets you see exactly what has been entered and changed in the company file, and by whom. It is a record of everything important that has happened within the company file.

To set up the Audit Trail, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Preferences from the Options menu, and choose Data Entry from the submenu.
  2. Turn on the checkboxes for the actions you'd like to record.

HINT: The audit trail increases file size, and slows down the saving of records slightly. If you don't need it, turn off all the checkboxes for audit trail actions.

To view the audit trail, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Security from the View menu, then choose Audit Trail from the submenu. HINT: You can only view the audit trail if you have signed on with a password that gives you access to it.
  2. You'll see a standard browser window. Each record shows one action that happened with the company file.

HINT: To see the actual transaction record shown in an audit trail record, choose Detail Transaction from the View menu.

You can use the Find command to locate specific types of records in the Audit Trail window. For example, to find all transactions changed by a specific employee, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Find from the Edit menu.
  2. Enter Transaction Changed into the Action Field, and enter the employee's password in the User field.
  3. Click the Find button.
  4. You will see a listing of all transactions changed with that password.

Use the audit trail if you suspect dishonesty, if you want to find out the person responsible for an error, or if you just want to see who has entered what when.

HINT: To get full use of the audit trail, assign each employee a different password, and keep them secure so one user can't sign on with another's password.

Verify File

On rare occasion, that data in your company file may become damaged due to hardware, system or software errors. Use the Verify File command to check the integrity of your company file. To verify, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Security from the View menu, and choose Verify File from the submenu.
  2. Goldenseal will check every object in the company file (it may take a few minutes, if you have a large number of records).
  3. If there are any problems, Goldenseal will report them to you. It also tells you the size of your data, and the amount of empty space in the company file.

To repair any file damage, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Export from the file menu, and choose Entire Company File from the submenu.
  2. Save the file on your hard drive.
  3. Exit/Quit from Goldenseal.
  4. Reopen Goldenseal, and create a new (empty) company file.
  5. Choose Import from the File menu, and choose Company File from the submenu.
  6. Select the file that you exported in step 2. Goldenseal will import all of your company data, and 'tidy up' any problems that it finds.

Compress File

To compress your company file so it takes up less space, follow these steps:

  1. Make a backup copy of your file (see Lesson 17).
  2. Choose Security from the View menu, and choose Compress File from the submenu.
  3. Goldenseal will rearrange the data in your company file so there is less empty space.

HINT: Goldenseal is very efficient at managing empty space in the file, so you probably will see only a small reduction in file size.

Database Report

To see the raw contents of your company file, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Security from the View menu, and choose Database Report from the submenu.
  2. You'll see a list of all record classes currently stored in Goldenseal, with the number of records in each.
  3. To see specific records in a class, double-click on a row.
  4. You'll see a list of all records in that class. Goldenseal lists technical information such as the object ID, the current location in RAM, the location on disk, and the object size.
  5. To see the raw data stored in a single record, double-click on its row.

Other Security Reports

To see the records that are currently 'cached' in RAM, choose Security from the View menu, and choose Cache Report from the submenu. You can also choose Clear Memory Cache to remove items from the cache. The only items that should remain are records that are currently visible in a browser window, and possibly a few support objects.

To see the records in your company file in the order they are stored on disk, choose Security from the View menu, and choose File Order Report from the submenu.

Finishing Up

In this lesson you have learned how to create passwords, check the audit trail, and use other security features in the Goldenseal estimating software and accounting software.

Did you know that over 35% of computer users use the name of their pet as a password? Another 12% use the word "gargoyle", and 9% use the word "flamingo". Then again, 7% of computer users have a pet flamingo named Gargoyle, and another 14% have a pet gargoyle named Flamingo. So perhaps the results are not so surprising.

Did you know that over 23% of computer software manuals include fake statistics? Here at Turtle Creek, well over 142% of us are shocked, positively shocked, by such statistics.