Security :: Identity Finder for Windows

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Identity Finder Professional is HSU's preferred solution for protected information scans. It is a commercial product that requires an annual subscription fee; there is no campus contract for Identity Finder licenses, so units wishing to use the software will need to purchase their own licenses. More information is available on the Identity Finder website.

Before You Start

Identity Finder uses a non-standard encryption method with limited recovery options that could result in data loss. You should not attempt to install or run Identity Finder or any other protected information scanning software without first consulting ITS. If you don't know who to contact, call the Technology Help Desk at (707) 826-HELP (4357), and they'll connect you with someone who can help you.


When you purchase Identity Finder licenses, you will receive download instructions and license keys in an email. Work with your ITC to download and install the software. During installation, you'll be prompted to choose a profile password for Identity Finder. You will need to enter this password every time Identity Finder is launched and there is no way to recover this password if it is lost, so choose a password you will not forget.

Configuring and Running Identity Finder for Windows

Before starting the process of configuring and running Identity Finder, you may want to review the video tutorial ITS has created to walk you through the process. The video is closed-caption enabled.

Watch on YouTube

Download Video Podcast

After completing the license activation, Identity Finder is ready for use. Identity Finder scans typically take anywhere from one to three hours to complete and, for the most accurate results, all other software applications should be closed during scanning.

Starting Identity Finder launches the search wizard. Select Continue Search Wizard.

Identity Finder Wizard - The Wizard is an easy way to configure a basic search. Select Continue Search Wizard.

 Confirm that the AnyFind Searching display shows the first six items selected.

AnyFind Searching settings. Anyfind will find the selected identity types - Social Security Numbers, Credit Card Numbers, Passwords, Bank Account Numbers, Driver Licenses, Dates of Birth.

 Select the radio button indicating you do not want to provide personal information.

Identity Finder wizard - Select button to indicate you do no want to provide personal information.

 Confirm that File Locations is set to My Computer.

Select "My Computer".

Review the settings to ensure they are correct and select Finish to begin the scan.

Summary of Identity Finder settings. Select "Finish" to proceed.

When the scan is complete, an Identity Finder Search Summary opens. Select Advanced to review the search results.

Identity Finder Search Summary - select Advanced to review results.

Identity Finder will show you a list of all files found that contain potential sensitive data. Highlight any filename to review the file's contents in a preview pane; this enables you to confirm or otherwise that the file does contain protected information. Some files may contain false positives, so it is important that the Identity Finder results be reviewed for accuracy. Print a copy of the Protected Information Survey to complete as you review your Identity Finder results.

Results of an Identity Finder scan.

The survey asks for approximate totals of the types of protected information found as well as the total number of files found by the scan. Click on Status Window (see above) to open a summary of the Identity Finder scan showing those totals.

Identity Finder Status Window - a summary of scan results.

Depending on your department's policies, and in consultation with your ITC, use one of the three options below to deal with each file reported by the scan:

  • If you no longer need the file, Shred it
  • If you need to keep a file, or you're not sure what to do with it, Quarantine it (this moves the file to a department file server)
  • If the file is a false positive, Ignore it.

Features to use

Note: Do NOT use Identity Finder's Secure function. It uses an unsupported, nonstandard encryption method and you may lose your data. 

Related Topics

Data Protection, Security