Running Find_SSNs on OS X

This document will help you learn how to scan your computer for SSN.s and all files necessary for your use are contained in the Find_SSNs.dmg below. The scanning time is very lengthy and depends on your data set. It is best not to use your computer until the scan is finished. To download the Find_SSNs program for OS X click here:

To begin, click on the Apple in the upper left hand corner and select System Preferences. This window will open, click on the Security & Privacy option.

System Preferences

Select the General tab if it is not already highlighted

General tab

Click on the lock in the lower left hand corner and enter the administrator account login information. Click Unlock. You can get this information from your help desk.

Click to Unlock

Select ANYWHERE leave this window open. You will be changing it back

Select Anywhere

Click on option Allow From Anywhere and leave this window open as you will be changing it back.

Allow From Anywhere

Double click on the downloaded file Find_SSNs.dmg.
When the folder opens double click on the Find_SSNs.command. You may have to enter an administrator account and password to continue.

findssn command

The scan will run in a separate .Terminal. window and although no results are shown, you will see the progress.


A Desktop folder will be created that is named with .your login name. and .-FINDSSN.. When the scanning is completed the terminal window will close.
Please read the 2 reports located in your Desktop folder .your login name-FINDSSN.. Both files contain either .positive. or .false-positive. entries. The file .Find_SSNs.csv. will list all the files that contain possible SSN.s, but does not list the actual SSN.s themselves.
The file .Find_SSNs.txt. will list all the files that contain possible SSN.s and every entry of a suspected SSN.
When you have finished identifying your files, delete the .your login name-FINDSSN. folder from the computer and empty the trash securely. Follow the email instructions on how to report your findings.
To erase your Trash securely, click on Finder then on Secure Empty Trash.
secure empty trash

When prompted select Secure Empty Trash again.

secure empty trash

The last step is to change the following setting to Mac App Store and identified developers.

reset defaults

Close all windows and applications and reboot your computer.

Thanks to Jeffrey Hornbuckle for these instructions