A-Z Glossary of Information Security and Social Engineering Terms

Data Remanence

Data Remanence

In many computing environments, the execution of the “delete” or “move to trash” command does not actually result in data getting irreversibly deleted. Data remanence is data that persists beyond the non-invasive means to delete it. For example, deleting data within OS X or Windows-based operating systems does not result in the data being immediately deleted, it merely means the hard disk space previously allocated to these files is marked by the file system as “free”. In the age of BYOD, it is imperative that users are trained to realise the risks associated with improper data wiping and trained in practical steps they can follow to securely erase data. See also data wiping.

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