SSN Scanning

A security requirement at Texas A&M is that all computers need to be scanned annually for social security numbers and credit card numbers. This information within this page is primarily for employees in CEHD who have administrative access to their computers. If you try to install any of this software and are blocked from installing it, then you probably do not have admin access and are exempt from doing your own scan.
 
Instructions for Identity Finder for Windows or Mac
  1. Obtain a copy of the software
    1. Stop by the Technology Services office with a USB drive and we can give you the file
    2. Send a request to Arlen Strader (strader@tamu.edu) for electronic delivery through Filex
       
  2. Double click the downloaded file to install it.
  3. The installation will request the license file -- specify the one provided in #1
  4. Start Identity Finder through the Start menu.
  5. Select "Start Searching Now" and let it scan.
What to do with Social Security Numbers that it finds.

If the scanner finds SSNs that do not belong to you or your immediate family, they need to be removed from the computer.

  • If the SSNs belong to you or your family, it is your decision as to whether to keep or remove the files.  Otherwise,
  • If the document is no longer needed, delete it.
  • If you need the document, but can do without the SSNs then simply "X" out the SSN and resave the document.
  • If you absolutely MUST keep the SSN on your computer, then contact Arlen Strader via strader@tamu.edu. A&M requires that any SSNs that are retained must be approved by the V.P. for Information Technology. However, if you only need to keep small numbers of SSNs for short periods of time (e.g., during the employee hiring process) we just need to ensure that those are encrypted and secure while they are in your possession.

Older product

For Macs/OSX, Cornell has produced a scanner named Spider that can do this and will run on OSX. You can download Spider for OSX from http://www2.cit.cornell.edu/security/tools/Spider_OSX.dmg
Instructions for Spider for OSX
  1. Download the above file to your desktop
  2. Double click the file.
  3. Double click the application named "Spider" within the folder.
  4. Click "Run Spider"
  5. You need to review the list of files in the log file to verify which, if any, contain SSNs.
    • The log file should be on your desktop.
    • The file will contain all the files Spider suspects have SSNs or Credit Card numbers.
    • There will likely be many false positives. Binary files such as images, video and PhotoShop files can be ignored. Otherwise, you should open each file that Spider found that you suspect may contain SSNs to verify whether or not SSNs are indeed there.
For Macs/OSX, Cornell has produced a scanner named Spider that can do this and will run on OSX. You can download Spider for OSX from http://www2.cit.cornell.edu/security/tools/Spider_OSX.dmg
Instructions for Spider for OSX
  1. Download the above file to your desktop
  2. Double click the file.
  3. Double click the application named "Spider" within the folder.
  4. Click "Run Spider"
  5. You need to review the list of files in the log file to verify which, if any, contain SSNs.
    • The log file should be on your desktop.
    • The file will contain all the files Spider suspects have SSNs or Credit Card numbers.
    • There will likely be many false positives. Binary files such as images, video and PhotoShop files can be ignored. Otherwise, you should open each file that Spider found that you suspect may contain SSNs to verify whether or not SSNs are indeed there.
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