Security :: Identity Finder for Mac

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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 ITS contact 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 Mac

After you've completed 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.

Select Locations and then the location you want to have the program search. You should select your computer's name to allow for the widest search.

Select the scope of the Identity Finder search under Locations.

 Click on "Start" to begin scanning.

Identity Finder scan in progress.

After the software has finished scanning your computer, you will need to evaluate each of the items found to confirm that they contain protected information, and then determine what action to take.

dentity Finder search completed

Identity Finder will show you a list of all files found that containing 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.

Identity Finder results

Depending on your department's policies, and in consultation with your ITS contact, 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.

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