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General Security Practices
These instructions are for Windows XP - other Windows OS will be similar
After downloading the Find_SSNs_exe.zip file to your desktop, you will then need to extract it to your desktop.
1. Run the downloaded file, Find_SSNs.exe
2. You will see the following warning:
3. Select OK and you will be prompted to select the folder or volume you want the program to scan:
4. Select the folder or drive you want to scan.
Note: If you choose My Computer, you will be scanning any mounted or network attached devices as well as removable media. It is advisable to scan hard drives by selecting them individually.
5. Once you have selected the scanning destination, select the OK button.
6. You will get the following warning before the scan proceeds:
7. The scan will begin and you will see a progress bar:
8. Once the scan completes you will see a screen that details the next steps as well as the location of the scan results for your review.
9. Click OK to this box.
10. Open the results.html in the Scan_Results folder. (Where directed the program to save the Scan Results.)
Note: Make sure you read the results.html file in your web browser (Internet Explorer, Fire Fox, etc.).
11. Suspect files are listed in the results.html file with a link to each file and the suspicious number.
12. Examine the files carefully to verify they contain Social Security numbers.
Note: Find_SSN can produce a number of false alarms due to the method it uses to locate potential Social Security numbers. You must verify each file to ensure the data is truly a Social Security number before deciding what to do with the file.
13. If you no longer need the files containing SSN, securely delete them and empty your computer's trash or Recycle Bin.
14. If you need the files containing the SSN, store them in a secure, encrypted location. Learn how to encrypt them here.
15. Promptly remove the Find_SSN log file. The Find_SSN logs must be protected. They are often a direct road map to your files containing sensitive information. Whenever possible, remove the log files after you have protected or removed the files that contain restricted data, such as SSN.