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What is Data Integrity?

Information is only useful when it is accurate. Whenever data is being stored, it has to be kept in a state where it will not be changed or modified in any way. This is useful for maintaining the integrity of the data. Data integrity refers to the ability of data to preserve its state and meaning over the course of time. No matter how long the data is stored for, it will still hold the same meaning and nothing will have changed it. Database applications are some of the software that are most concerned about the integrity of data and always run check on the data to ensure that its state has not changed while the database was not in use.

There are several ways of ensuring that the integrity of data has not been changed in any way. One of them is the use of signing certificates and checksums. The data checksums are used to confirm the state of information and that it has not been modified. With the state and meaning of data preserved over time, one will be able to make better use of the information. An application that stores data in a cache should be able to preserve the state of the data and nothing should change while the data is in the cache.

Infections and malware are one of the main reasons for data to lose its integrity.  Malware is known to tamper data in a way that changes the meaning of the data in entirely new ways. Even when some of the bits in the data have been shifted, the entire meaning of the information changes significantly. This is known to be caused by malware and virus infections which eat into the information and change the bit sequence to hide itself in the source code and information that is has infected. Whenever a system has been infected by malware or viruses, the data integrity is adversely affected. No one can be able to confidently use the data once its state has been changed and this has a huge impact on the usability of the information.

Huge database enforce integrity measure to keep track of the information and records that are stored in the database. This ensures that none of the information ever changes and once it has been stored, it will remain in that state until when it is being retrieved. This is important for information and data that is being stored on a long term basis. The system administrator has to enforce integrity checks that will be used to confirm the geniuses of the data when it is being accessed next. Data is a precious resource in the information age and knowing how to preserve it is important. Data integrity refers to the authenticity of the information such that once it has been stored somewhere, it cannot be modified by others. It is important to note that data integrity refers to the very nature of the information stored and any changes are always evident when confirming the integrity and verifiability of the information.

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