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Data Diddling

Definition of Data Diddling

Data diddling is a form of cybercrime where information is illicitly altered or manipulated before or during its entry into a computer system. This tampering can involve changing, deleting, or adding data to skew results or outcomes. Unlike other forms of hacking, which typically occur after data has been inputted, data diddling happens at the point of entry, making it particularly insidious and challenging to detect.

Origin of Data Diddling

The concept of data diddling dates back to the early days of computerized systems, evolving as technology advanced. Initially, it was associated with minor alterations in data entry, but as reliance on digital systems grew, the scope and impact of data diddling expanded. It became a significant concern for businesses and governments as they started to realize the vulnerability of their data to such manipulations.

Practical Application of Data Diddling

Data diddling can be seen in various scenarios, ranging from financial fraud to altering critical data in public records. For example, an employee in a financial institution might alter the amount of a transaction during entry, benefiting illegally from the discrepancy. Similarly, altering dates or figures in legal documents or public records can have serious implications, demonstrating the potential harm caused by this form of data manipulation.

Benefits of Data Diddling

It's crucial to clarify that data diddling is an illegal and unethical activity with no legitimate benefits. Its mention in this context is purely for the purpose of awareness and prevention. Understanding the methods and impacts of data diddling helps organizations implement stronger security measures and develop systems to detect and prevent such manipulations. Educating about the dangers of data diddling is essential in fostering a culture of cybersecurity and integrity in data management.


Implementing robust data validation processes, regular auditing, and employing advanced cybersecurity measures can significantly reduce the risk of data diddling.

Yes, it's relatively common due to its subtle nature and the difficulty in detection, especially in organizations with less stringent data control measures.

The legal consequences can be severe, including criminal charges, hefty fines, and imprisonment, reflecting the seriousness of this cybercrime.


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