Information Technology Services

Identity Finder

What is Identity Finder?
Identity Finder is a scanning tool that searches for confidential information such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and passwords that may be stored on your computer, file shares or removable drives. Identity Finder helps prevent data security breaches and identity theft by locating sensitive personal information and providing options for removing or protecting it. Clark has licensed Identity Finder to help its faculty and staff find and protect this kind of data.

How does Identity Finder work?
Identity Finder scans all the data on your computer, similar to an antivirus application, looking for patterns within the data that would look like possible sensitive information. For example, finding sixteen numbers in a row, separated in groups of four is probably a credit card number. The tool will then report back to you where it found this data making it easy for you to take the appropriate action. More details are available at

How can I get Identity Finder installed on my computer?
If your Windows computer is managed by ITS, the software will be installed automatically. You may have to restart your Windows computer (possibly twice) in order to have the application properly install. If you have an Apple computer, ITS will schedule a time with you to install the client. The Identity Finder icon (located to the right) will appear on your desktop once the application has successfully installed. If you need assistance with the installation, please contact the ITS Help Desk.

Can ITS cleanup my data for me?
Although ITS may install the software and can provide assistance with the cleanup process, you must ultimately decide what data to securely delete or securely retain given your needs. Additionally, the software may find sensitive information such as passwords and personal financial account numbers that you should keep private, even from ITS staff.

Am I required to have Identity Finder installed on my Clark computer?
Yes. Similar to the University’s deployment of antivirus software, this tool is required to help protect Clark’s confidential data.

Am I required to scan my computer using Identity Finder?
No, but we strongly encourage everyone to do so. While the software is capable of supporting scheduled scans configured by ITS, the University has decided to launch Identity Finder as a self-service utility. Protecting and securing the personal data of Clark community members is everyone’s responsibility and we are counting on you to do your part.

I've heard that Identity Finder reports some information back to a central server. Is this true?
The home edition of Identity Finder does not report any information anywhere. When you run Identity Finder on a Clark managed computer, some information is sent back to a centralized reporting console. The information reported back helps ITS maintain the software (what version of the software is installed, what version of the configuration the client is using, etc.). When you initiate a scan on your computer, the time of the scan is reported back. If any sensitive information is found during your scan, the type of sensitive information found (credit card, SSN, financial account number) is reported back, but the location of the sensitive information (i.e. what file it was located in) and the specific sensitive information is NOT reported back. If any action was taken on the sensitive information found using Identity Finder, the specific action taken is reported back (i.e. deleted data).

Where can I get more information on how to use Identity Finder?

ITS is committed to helping you. If you have any questions, need help or advice, please let us know.
~ITS Help Desk