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Getting started
Setting your search parameters
Viewing and managing your results
For more information

Note: Identity Finder for the Mac is available for Intel-based Macs only.

Getting Started

  1. Before you begin:

    1. Connect or insert any external storage media (external hard drives, USB drives, CDs or DVDs) you want Identity Finder to search.

    2. If you want Identity Finder to search your HOME network drive (recommended) or any other network drive, connect to the Smith network.

  2. OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) users:  If you have just restarted your computer, please wait 5-10 minutes before launching Identity Finder. 

    This is necessary because Identity Finder requires Spotlight API to run properly, and Spotlight API is unresponsive for at least 5 minutes after your computer starts up. If you run an Identity Finder scan during this period, it will finish very quickly and be incomplete.

  3. After the waiting period, open your Applications folder, and double-click Identity

  4. On the Profile Password screen, we recommend setting an Identity Finder password. You will use the password later to view your search results and access any results reports you save.

    Note that you have the option to click Cancel and proceed as a guest user.

  5. The main Identity Finder window will open.

  6. OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) users: Confirm that Identity Finder is working properly with Spotlight API:

    1. Click on the Preferences button in the toolbar.


    2. In the Preferences window, click on the File Types button.

    3. Select Custom file type list and click the Manage button.

    4. In the Manage Custom File Types window, if you see only Other File Types listed, then Spotlight is not cooperating and you will need to quit and re-launch Identity Finder.  (Note that this is not an issue for Mac OS 10.5.)

  7. If you ever plan to search a network drive:

    1. Click on the Preferences button in the toolbar.


    2. In the Preferences window, click on the File Types button.

    3. Make sure that the box beside Include remote volumes when searching entire computer is checked.

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Setting Your Search Parameters

  1. Click on the Locations button to select the part of your computer you would like to search.


  2. We recommend that you select Custom, then click on the [...] button to browse to a specific drive or folder on a drive.

    Note that if you wish to search a network drive, you must first connect to the network drive, then follow step 7 above.

  3. Once you have navigated to your search location, select the drive or folder of interest, click Open, then click Add.

  4. Click OK.

  5. By default, Identity Finder will search for Social Security Numbers, Credit Card Numbers, Passwords and Bank Account Numbers.  All other identity types are disabled in the default search, but can be added individually. 

    1. To add another type, open the Identities menu, mouse over the identity type to search, then select Any Find from the flyout menu, as shown below.


      After this, a checkmark will appear next to the category in the menu.

    2. To disable an enabled category, mouse over the category name and click on AnyFind. The checkmark will disappear for that category.

  6. If you also want Identity Finder to search for specific personal information:

    1. Click on the Include List button.


    2. From the Identity Type drop-down menu, select the item type of interest.

    3. In the include in list text box, enter the relevant personal data.

    4. Click Add. Repeat for as many additional item types as desired, then click OK.


  7. When your search parameters are all set, begin the search by clicking on the Start button in the toolbar.


    The length of your search will depend on the number of files to be searched. We recommend minimizing the search window and letting the application run in the background. If necessary, you can click Stop to cancel your search.

  8. When the search finishes, a Search Completed window will appear showing your results. If any instances of your specified identity types were found, the window will show the file location, type of identity match, number of occurrences, and a preview of the document.

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Managing Identity Finder Search Results

The Identity Finder window will show a list of files that may contain confidential information and a toolbar with buttons for four possible actions you can perform on those files. 

Note that you are not required to perform any of these four actions. If you wish, you can use Identity Finder simply to inventory the number and location of files containing confidential data. Just run the search and save the results.

Identity Finder provides the following actions via its toolbar:   

  mac image

  1. Shred: Removes the complete file from your computer, using a secure United States Department of Defense standard.  Note:  Shredding is PERMANENT.  You CANNOT retrieve files that have been shredded!

  2. Secure (Encrypt or Redact): Secures the highlighted item using Identity Finder Vault file encryption. In the case of an entire file, you may wish to move the file to a TrueCrypt folder instead.

  3. Quarantine: Securely moves the highlighted file to a quarantine location and permanently shreds it from its original location. Your quarantine location should be a folder that is highly secure, such as a TrueCrypt folder, an encrypted drive, or a storage device that unauthorized individuals cannot access.

    Note: You can specify a default Quarantine location in Settings. You may also choose to leave behind a warning text document in place of the file.

  4. Ignore: Allows you to designate items to be ignored in future searches. Choose from the following options:

    • This Item Location: To ignore this file.

    • This Identity Match: To ignore this Identity match in ALL locations in which it appears.

Creating and Managing Your 'Ignore' List

  • To create a list of files to ignore, select the Ignore a File option and click the File Selection button.  This button will open a dialog box that allows you to select any file on your computer.  

    After navigating to your desired location, click the Open button and the full path to your selected file will be displayed.  

    Once you have selected a file location to ignore, click the Add button and it will appear in the Identity and Location Ignore List.

  • To remove a location or multiple locations, highlight them and click the Remove button. The Remove All button clears the entire list. If you make changes and want to Save your list for future sessions, click the Save button.  Otherwise click OK.  

  • You may be prompted to provide a password if you are saving a new list. If Identity Finder did not automatically load your Ignore Identities and Location list when it started, you can load it now by clicking the Load button.  You will be prompted for your password.

  • Locations that you add to the Ignore List during a search will be ignored for the remainder of the current search.

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Questions or Problems?

If you have any questions, call the User Support Center at x4487.

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Copyright © 2014 Smith College Information Technology Services  |  Stoddard Hall 11  |  Northampton, MA 01063
413.585.4487  |  Questions or comments?  Send us email
 |  Last updated January 10, 2013

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