capsule review

Identity Finder Home Edition

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Identity Finder Home Edition

Identity Finder Home Edition searches your computer for sensitive personal information, such as credit card numbers, and then offers you options for deleting or securing that data. It can dig into different file types, such as PDFs or Microsoft's .doc format, as well as into browsers' stored form data and saved passwords.

For certain data types--such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, bank accounts and passwords--Identity Finder can search automatically for the data without your having to first type in each item. It can also search for other types of information, such as a driver's license number or your mother's maiden name, but you'll have to first type those in.

Identity Finder's scan can take a while if you search your entire computer for multiple types of data. But it may find a good deal of information you'd rather not leave around, such as credit card numbers in Firefox saved forms and Social Security numbers in non-encrypted Word documents. It will also likely display a number of false positives for those categories where it tries to automatically find matches, such as passwords.

When the program finds sensitive data, you'll see a list of the results, along with a preview pane that shows the section of the document that contained the sensitive data. Depending on the type of file you can securely delete the file or data, ignore it or secure it with a password. The latest 4.0 version allows for deleting sensitive information from within a document while leaving the rest of the document intact.

A free version of the software limits searches to credit card numbers and passwords in saved browser data and your My Documents folder. The free version is available only for Windows systems.

Identity Finder Home Edition sports a good-looking and easy-to-use interface with an Office 2007-like ribbon, and offers security tools extras such as a password vault, a file shredder and a system cleanup tool. If you want extra peace of mind for your personal information, it could be a good buy.

-- Erik Larkin

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Identity Finder Home Edition

Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.