Contamination

What Does Contamination Mean?

A contamination can occur when classified information is found on a computer or information system that is not accredited for classified information. Contamination of a computer can also occur when malware infiltrates it.

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Techopedia Explains Contamination

Contamination may have occurred in an information system when classified information is found on a computer system which is not supposed to be there. This may have happened:

  1. By accident
  2. By transmission of insecure data
  3. Because the information was changed to a different classification rating
  4. Because users did not follow protocol and transferred information through insecure methods such as floppy disks or thumb drives

Contamination can also occur through a computer virus or other form of malware. An anti-virus tool should be enabled to remove an active virus from a system.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.