These instructions are for scanning your Windows computer and any attached drives for Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and remediating scan results.
It's important that you read and follow these instructions to properly remediate your computer. This document also assumes that the Identity Finder software has already been properly installed on your computer by your IT support staff. Each user on a shared computer must run their own scan.
Personally Identifiable Information (PII) - Refers to information that can be used to uniquely identity, contact, or locate a single person or can be used with other sources to uniquely identity a single individual. Examples of such information are Social Security Numbers (SSN), Credit Card Numbers, Drivers License Numbers, and Bank Account Numbers that are associated with a person's name or identity.
Client - Refers to the Identity Finder program you are currently using.
Results Pane - Located on the left of the Client, contains the results of a scan.
Preview Pane - Located on the right of the Client, contains a preview of the currently selected file.
Match - Located in the Results Pane, each row is a possible PII match. Could be a file, email message, database table, etc.
True Positives - Matches that do contain PII that must be remediated.
False Positives - Matches that have been incorrectly marked as containing PII.
Remediation - The process of reviewing the scan results and securely and permanently removing PII.
Scanning the computer for the first time
Once the scan is finished, you will be presented with a window containing a list of all files found that could contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Not all of these files will contain true PII; some will contain data that was incorrectly identified (a false positive). The easiest way to determine if a file truly contains PII is to click the match and view the contents of the file in the Preview Pane (on the right side of the window). The preview pane will show you a preview of the match or matches within the file, with the suspected match highlighted. By viewing the file this way, you should be able to use your best judgment to determine if the number is true PII, or if it is a false positive.
If the file DOES contain PII, you must perform one of these options:
1. SHRED the file. This will securely and permanently delete the file completely from your machine. This is the best option and will ensure that the PII is unrecoverable if your computer were to be compromised. If you no longer need the file, please select it or check the box next to it and click the "Shred" button. Special care should be given to data on shared drives as well as databases that may require remediation. Shredding files on a server or shared drive should be done in consultation with other associates who might have a need for those files. If you are not the owner or primary user of a file, please ask before you shred! Database files (such as FileMaker and Microsoft Access) that you wish to keep should be manually cleaned. Shredding a database file will permanently delete the file.
If you attempt to shred a file and Identity Finder displays a message indicating that it was unable to shred it, check that the file is not read-only. There is a checkbox in the bottom right corner of the Identity Finder window to turn off the read-only setting.
2. If the file was saved in Office 2007 (XML-based format) or as a text file, you can SCRUB the file. This is the process of overwriting or redacting the PII data from the file without losing the rest of the information in the file. Only use this option if it is necessary to retain the rest of the data in the document.
3. CLEAN the file manually. This option involves manually editing and saving the file. Only use this option if it is necessary to retain the rest of the data in the document.
· To clean the file, double-click to open it.
· Delete the PII data from the file.
· Choose "File > Save As" from the menu and rename the file to indicate that the PII was removed. We recommend that you use a file name such as "OriginalFileName_PII-Removed" so that you can easily tell which files have been cleaned.
· Return to Identity Finder and Shred the original file (see Option #1 above for steps).