Classifying files manually

Users can manually apply or remove classifications or content fingerprinting to files.

The manual classification feature applies file classification. That is, the classifications applied do not need to be related to content. For example, a user can place a PCI classification on any file. The file does not have to contain credit card numbers. Manual classification is embedded in the file. In Microsoft Office files, the classification is stored as a document property. In other supported files, it is stored as an XMP property. For email, it is added as markup text.

When setting up manual classification, you can also allow a user to manually apply content fingerprints.

Support for manual classification is as follows:

  • McAfee DLP Endpoint users (on both Windows and Mac endpoints) can manually classify files.
  • McAfee DLP Endpoint clients (on both Windows and Mac endpoints), McAfee DLP Prevent, and McAfee DLP Monitor can detect manually classified files (in email attachments, for example) and take appropriate action based on the classification.
  • McAfee DLP Discover can detect manual classifications in classification and remediation scans, and can take appropriate action in remediation scans.

By default, users do not have permission to view, add, or remove classifications, but you can assign specific classifications to specific user groups, or to Everyone. The assigned users can then apply the classification to files as they work. Manual classification can also allow you to maintain your organization’s classification policy even in special cases of sensitive or unique information that the system does not process automatically.

When setting up permission for manual classification, you have the option of allowing content classifications, content fingerprints, or both to be applied manually.

Support for manual classification

McAfee DLP offers two types of support for manual classifications: one for Microsoft Office files, and one for all supported file types.

Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and Microsoft Outlook are supported at the file creation level. Users can choose to classify files by clicking the manual classification icon. You can also set options to force users to classify files by activating the manual classification pop-up when files are saved, or Outlook emails sent.

Manual classification of an email is relevant for a specific thread only. If you send the same email twice in different threads, you have to classify it twice. For emails, information added to the header or footer (set on the manual classification General Settings page) is added as clear text.


manual classification

All supported file types can be classified from Windows Explorer or Mac Finder using the right-click (Mac Ctrl-click) menu.