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Scan for Confidential Data on External Drives: Mac

The information in this article is intended technical staff who support end-users. It is unusual for an end-user to need this information.

This article applies to: Spirion (formerly Identity Finder)


You can use Spirion to scan the following:

  • External hard drives
  • Thumb drives
  • CDs and DVDs
  • Mounted encrypted volumes (for example, PGP or TrueCrypt volumes)
Some unit/department have optional policies in place; scanning may not be available in some locations. 

If you are scanning a folder on a server, you should map the server to a drive letter on your machine. For step-by-step instructions, see our Map a Drive article.

  1. In a Finder window, open the Applications folder, and then double-click Spirion.   
  2. Click Locations, then Files, then File Locations, and then click Custom.
  3. Click the three dots icon next to the Folder box. Locate the external drive or disk you want to scan, and then click Open.
  4. Click Add. The drive is added to the Folder Location list. Repeat steps 3-4 for any additional drives you want to scan.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click Start. Spirion begins scanning. To pause the scan, click Pause.
    By default, Spirion searches for Social Security numbers, Credit Card numbers, Bank Account numbers, and Drivers License numbers.
  7. You can save the list of scan results, if desired.
    1. From the File menu, choose Save.
    2. For Save As, enter a name for the file.
    3. From the Location list, choose a location to save the file.
    4. For Password, enter a password for the file.
    5. For Confirm, re-enter the password.
    6. Click Save.
  8. Review the list of files identified by the scan.
    You must look at each file and decide how to deal with it. Always follow local practices to determine the best way to handle files identified by the scan.
    For more information, see our How to Handle Scan Results article.
  9. When you have dealt with all the files in the list, quit Spirion.
Warning: Using Spirion to shred email will shred or corrupt your entire mailbox. If confidential data is identified in an email message, to permanently delete the mail message without damaging your mailbox, open your email application, delete the message, then empty the trash and compact your folders.

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