In May 2009, UGA's senior vice presidents outlined the goal of limiting the use of the SSN to only those systems and processes that absolutely require it. Details on the SSN replacement initiative are available on the SSN Removal webpage. This guide is meant to help staff and faculty find and remove SSNs in support of this initiative.
The first task is to determine where to look. Where do you store documents or spreadsheets? What kind of files might have SSNs? Do you have any network folders or websites that might contain SSNs? Even if you are fairly sure your documents do not contain SSNs, it's important to check. Here are some example places, but think about any places personal to you that may not be listed:
Start by looking in the places or files most likely to contain SSNs. As you find them, either keep a list to deal with later or deal with them on the spot.
Use the regular search tool that comes with Windows or Mac to help find more SSNs. Be sure to search files "Containing Text" and not just files named what you are searching. Also, to save time make sure the location where you are searching is limited to the places you listed in the above step. Unfortunately, Windows and Mac search cannot find SSNs that do not include the search terms you use. Below are some search terms to try:
For an advanced approach, you can search for all of these at once by typing the following: (If using OR or AND, they must be all capital letters to work right in Windows.)
"Social Security" OR SSN OR "last four" OR "UGA ID" OR "Student ID"
There are four options for dealing with SSNs, including:
If you have any questions, first ask for advice from the IT staff in your department. If you or they still have questions, please feel free to contact the EITS Help Desk at (706) 542-3106. The Help Desk should be able to answer frequent questions, or reach the Office of Information Security if they cannot answer your question.