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Definition: secure delete

Deleting data in a storage device by overwriting the actual data with a binary pattern. In contrast, a normal file delete removes only the file name from the file system's index and marking the data sectors available for future writes. Overwriting the data in the sectors is a more secure way of erasing the data, and overwriting multiple times ensures that the data can never be recovered. Also called "secure erase" and "data sanitization." See data remanence and instant secure erase.