Identity Finder for Windows

Jump to: Installing | Running | Processing PII


Installing Identity Finder

  1. Download the UD-configured version of Identity Finder for Windows.

  2. Run the Identity Finder Installer as you would any other Windows program.
    Note: Several command windows will open in the background as part of the normal Identity Finder installation and configuration process.

  3. Set your Identity Finder profile password. Choose a strong password since it will be used to open reports and to process files containing PII.

  4. Identity Finder will start running automatically.


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Running Identity Finder

  1. You must disable sleep mode on your computer since your computer must remain awake for the duration of a scan. Scans of an entire hard drive can take several hours. To disable sleep:
    1. Open the Control Panel.
    2. Click Power Options.
    3. Click Change plan settings next to your current power plan.

plan settings

  1. Choose to put the computer to sleep Never and click Save changes.

never sleep

  1. Click the   icon to begin your scan. By default, Identity Finder will only scan local directories (i.e., files on your computer) for social security numbers. We recommend that you keep the default settings, and do not use Identity Finder's Search Wizard to scan for different types of PII. You can use the Locations tab to either expand or narrow your search.
  • To expand your scan to include networked and removable drives, click the Locations tab along the top of Identity Finder's window. Here, you can toggle on and off different locations to expand or narrow scans as needed.


  • To narrow your scan to custom directories on your computer, click the Locations tab along the top of Identity Finder's window, click the Custom Folders icon, then click Enable Custom Folder Search. On the window that appears, add or remove the folders you'd like to scan and click OK. customer experience program
  1. Allow the scan to run.


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Processing Identity Finder's Results

Identifying False Positives

  1. After a scan completes, Identity Finder for Windows will list files that could possibly contain PII on the Main tab.
  2. You will need to identify which files contain legitimate PII and which are false positives. Identity Finder cannot make this distinction since it simply searches for files containing strings of nine digits, including system files, ZIP Code Plus 4 numbers, and UD ID numbers. For example, look at these scan results:
    • These eTicket files contain someone's SSN—a legitimate piece of PII. You would either need to encrypt or remove these files: eticket
    • These files are false positives. Notice that they are all system files like installers, caches, and inventories. Their nine digit numbers are not SSNs so these files do not need to be encrypted or removed:


Shredding Files with PII

If you don't need the file anymore, use Identity Finder to securely "shred" its data.

  1. On the Main tab, check the files you wish to shred and click Shred in the toolbar.



  1. Click Yes on the Shred File confirmation dialog box that appears.



  1. The PII has been securely removed from your computer.

Note: If you receive an "Unable to shred" error after clicking Shred and you are not on a Windows Administrator account, you must edit the file permissions before shredding. To edit file permissions: 

  1. Right click on the file and select Properties.
  2. Select the Security tab and click Edit to change permissions.
  3. Click Users and check Allow for each function.
  4. Click OK and shred the file.

plan settings


Encrypting Files with PII

If you need to retain a file that contains PII, UD policy states you must encrypt it. Refer to IT's encryption page for more information. Do not use Identity Finder's built-in "secure" feature.



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