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What is Data Corruption?

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Data corruption is when data becomes physically or logically damaged due to errors in writing, reading, storage, transmission or processing. In some cases, data corruption is not an error but occurs due an information security incident.

Physical Damage

Physical damage occurs when data is recorded incorrectly due to failures of devices, input, output or transmission.

Logical Damage

Logical damage occurs when the wrong data is correctly recorded. As a simple example, software may write a customer's name in the customer address field of a database. At the physical level, such data isn't damaged but it's corrupted nonetheless.

Silent Data Corruption

In many cases, data corruption goes unnoticed. This can be dangerous as it can cause failures of processes and transactions. It is common for devices, operating systems and certain types of software to regularly test for data corruption and automatically perform fixes in the background.


In many cases, data corruption can be automatically repaired by systems such as operating systems that have performed checksums and backups. Applications, databases and other software may include features for restoring data. Nevertheless, it is commonly recommended for users to create their own versioned backups of documents and data exports across different physical devices.
Overview: Data Corruption
Data that is physically or logically damaged due to errors in writing, reading, storage, transmission or processing.
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