What are keyloggers?
A keylogger is software that records keystrokes on a keyboard, mostly unnoticed. Keyloggers are (often) a form of malware, because they can be used to surreptitiously monitor what a user is typing. In this way, the keylogging software can read off messages and record important passwords and login data in the process. This data is often passed on to the criminals behind the keylogger software in question.
Are keyloggers always malicious?
Keyloggers are by no means always used for malicious purposes however, they are always used for malicious purposes. Within ICT organizations, keyloggers are used to identify technical problems with computers and the network. Companies can also use keyloggers to monitor the behavior of employees without there being any malicious intentions behind it. And parents use keyloggers to keep an eye on their children on the internet.
But keyloggers can also be used by criminals to steal important data from unsuspecting victims, and unfortunately this happens with great regularity.
How does your computer get infected with a keylogger?
Keyloggers spread in a similar way that many other malware spread. Many times keyloggers are installed on your system when you open a file you receive via email, a text message, torrent networks or social networks. Even visiting an infected website can cause a keylogger to nestle in your system.
How do you recognize infection with a keylogger?
Anti-keylogger software is designed to detect keyloggers on an infectedïnfected computer. The anti-keylogging software does this by comparing all the files in a computer with already known keyloggers to see if any similarities are found. If a piece of code is found on a computer that matches an already known keylogger, the software knows that there is a keylogger hidden on the system. Many times the software allows you to remove the keylogger immediately.
Good anti-keylogger software is available from Spyshelter and Keyscrambler, among others. In addition many antivirus’s also offer protection against keyloggers, although anti-keylogger software is usually more sensitive and better able to identify keylogging activities than ‘generic’ antivirus software.
Other useful tips to protect yourself from keyloggers
Some tips to protect yourself from keyloggers:
- Be careful when opening attachments. Only open files that you fully trust and that come from a respectable source.
- Use unique passwords and consider using a password manager. With a password manager, you won’t have to type in your passwords all the time, and thus keyloggers won’t be able to record them.
- Replying our earlier point: Use good antivirus software that also protects against keyloggers. Consider special anti-keylogger software if necessary.