hash total


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hash total

[′hash ¦tōd·əl]
(computer science)
A sum obtained by adding together numbers having different meanings; the sole purpose is to ensure that the correct number of data have been read by the computer.

hash total

A method for ensuring that data in a file have not been altered. A hash total is the numerical sum of one or more fields in the file, including data not normally used in calculations, such as account number. When necessary, the hash total is recalculated and compared with the original. If data are lost or changed, a mismatch occurs which signals an error. See hash table and cryptographic hash function.