Secure Computing

Scanning for Confidential Data

Why am I being asked to run this scan?

1. Update Identity Finder

Yale Managed Workstation

If you use a Managed Workstation, you will not have to download and reinstall the data scan software. An update will run automatically on your machine.

Other Machines

If you are managing your own machine and software updates, you will need to install the latest version of Identity Finder manually.

Visit the Yale ITS Software Library to download the latest version of Identity Finder for your operating system (Windows or Mac OS X).

2. Run the Scan

  • Follow the Instructions for running Identity Finder on Windows or Mac OS X.
  • Files will be examined for Social Security, credit card, and bank account numbers only.

Note: Data scanning does not look for protected health information (PHI).  


Why Must I run a Scan?

In its role as an educational institution, a research institution, and an employer, Yale must collect a variety of personal information about students, employees, and patients. Federal and state laws impose many obligations on Yale to protect the confidentiality of this information. As part of the University-wide secure computing initiative, all Yale staff and faculty members are encouraged to do a regular scan of their computers to identify the nature and location of potentially confidential information such as Social Security numbers or credit card numbers.

At regular 12-month intervals, Yale faculty and staff members will receive a reminder email from the Training Management System (TMS) to complete the "Data Self Scan." The TMS "course" is just asking you to confirm that you have scanned your computer for the presence of Social Security or credit card numbers, and that you have taken any action required to remove unneeded data, or securely store any confidential data that is essential to your daily work.

Related University Policies & Procedures