What is Spider and why use it?
The University of Missouri – St. Louis in conjunction with the University of Missouri System are in the midst of a project where we are moving away from Social Security Numbers as identifiers. This project has begun at a system level by eliminating SSNs in several campus database systems and we are removing them from more databases over the next few months. There is one area that we will need your help.
There are thousands of files on user’s desktops and user’s personal storage where SSNs of faculty and students exist. Most of these files may not be needed anymore and some users are unaware that they exist. There are also cases where the file is needed but the SSN is not needed. We need you, the user community, to go through your files and “clean” them up.
If those files were discovered by the wrong people, it could cause a major identity theft problem for you or others at the University. Identity theft is a huge problem and often costly to repair.
We have provided tools to help you go through your files and find the ones with SSNs in them. These tools look through most common file types on your system, search for SSNs, and report what they find to a log file on your desktop. To the left, you will find links to the installation files and instructions on how to use the tools. there are a few tools you can use to find SSNs. For the PC there is a program called Spider and one called FindSSN and Senf for the mac.