Cornell University

Technology Services

146 Ives Hall, 607-255-5484

Identity Finder Instructions

As a Cornell University employee, you are responsible for all institutional data on your computer. You are the custodian of that data. This has been established in numerous Cornell policies and is explained in detail at

Due to the risk of data loss/theft and the costs associated with a computer security incident, ILR has established a goal of completely eliminating the storage of reportable university data from its PCs, laptops and servers. Reportable data includes: Social Security, credit card, driver’s license and bank account numbers of our students, alumni, faculty, staff, customers and affiliates.

The Identity Finder scan/cleanup procedure should be done at least semi-annually by everyone, monthly if you work with confidential data occasionally and weekly if you work with confidential data on a regular basis.  If a data loss incident occurs, you and your department will be responsible for assisting with identifying and communicating to all affected parties. The potential cost and time impact to you and the school in dealing with an incident far outweighs the impact of eliminating the reportable data.

Cornell University purchased Identity Finder (IDF) to aid in the detection and elimination of this data. It is licensed to run on any Cornell owned device. All managed computers connected to the ILR networks have Identity Finder installed and configured automatically. For Cornell owned, ILR supported home machines download IDF, install it and run the scan.

Our Identity Finder quick start guide pdf Icon provides brief instructions for scanning and cleaning your computers with IDF. We also compiled an Identity-Finder-Tips-and-Tricks document pdf Icon and have a 60 minute recording of a webinar Jeff Bishop gave on May 9, 2011 with more detailed instructions for managing search results. In addition, IDF has an extensive built-in help system that is accessible by pressing the F1 key. If you have additional questions, please submit a service request.