Put a tracer on document gaffes

Think you've redacted all the sensitive information in that Microsoft Word document you're about to circulate? Is there any personally identifiable information in that spreadsheet you're ready to e-mail? A free software download could tell you for sure. Trace Version 2.0 from Workshare Inc. of San Francisco looks for potentially damaging content'both visible and hidden'in Microsoft Office documents and triggers an alert when it finds a possible policy violation. Company officials said the software uses taxonomy logic to avoid generating too many false positives. For instance, it can tell the difference between the innocuous use of 'confidential' in prose versus 'Confidential' in a document header. Ken Rutsky, the company's senior vice president for marketing, said that Trace can also alert you to potentially damaging metadata, including network paths that could present a back door to hackers.

Teleworkers might do well to run the program from home. Audits run continuously in the background looking for roughly 100 different security risks. You can also point the software at a Web site and have it scan published .DOC and .XLS files for security issues. Users can download the software from www.workshare.com. It runs on Office 2000 and higher.

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