To that end, they have invented “Identity Finder,” an impressive program that scans computers, and even entire networks for sensitive data that, if accidentally turned into data in motion, could spell disaster for the data owners. Identity Finder comes in many different versions, including one that is free to personal and non-commercial users. That’s the version that I tried, and I recommend you try it, too.
To get your free copy of Identity Finder, go to identityfinder.com, put your mouse pointer on top of the “Download” link and click “Free.” Apple Mac users will be pleased to find there is a version for OS X, versions 10.5 and higher. Download the version appropriate for your computer, double-click the downloaded file and install the program. The installation is a bit cranky, asking you to sign up for this or that service or extra add-on, but you can say “No” to most of them and simply install the program.
After installing Identity Finder, run the program (double-click the new icon that has appeared on your desktop) and pick “Launch Free.” You can say “Yes” to the next few screens and say “Skip” to the “New Identity Finder Profile” window that appears. Say “OK” to the Guest Profile question, and you’ll finally be ready to get down to business.
Once you can see the “Identity Finder Wizard,” you are presented with a few choices. Open the Advanced Interface if you really want to get down to some nitty-gritty tweaking, but I recommend most folks simply make sure all other programs are closed and click the button that says “Start search now.”
The free version of Identity Finder only searches for passwords and credit card numbers, but that was enough to give me pause. Identity Finder quickly found a copy of a credit report I had requested two years ago and had forgotten about. It easily tagged the three credit card numbers contained in the report, reminding me of the fact that copies of credit reports should probably not be stored on computers that are connected to the Internet. Oops. My bad.