Keylogging (keystroke logger), is a function to capture the information based on the keys pressed in the keyboard. A Keylogger software is a malicious program (Trojan) with keylogging functionality installed on your Windows-based computer. This functions captures, saves and sends personal information of users, such as username, password, and credit card information, to the hacker or the author of the Trojan as and when you type them using the keyboard. This compromises your confidential information and provides options for cybercriminals to misuse the information.
Unlike other malwares, keylogger program does not affect your system performance but silently captures the confidential information, such as username, passwords, credit card number and pin, when you make online transactions. If hackers use compromised information to their benefit, you may end up with financial losses.
How cyber criminals use keyloggers?
You are a person, like million others, who uses Internet to perform basic tasks, such as checking email, reading information, watching videos, making bill payments and performing banking transaction. So, you should ideally be safe. Right? However, the reality bites and you may not always be safe in these scenarios!
Imagine you came to know about a virus outbreak and needs to immediately apply a patch to secure your operating system. You search for information about the patch and gets it from a website. However, while browsing the information, a message appears asking whether you want to download the patch. You have clicked the No button because you do not want to install any software from third-party websites. However, at this point, a keystroke logging software can get installed in your device because the hacker or attacker who had designed the website may have programmed the No button to act as Yes button, that is to install the software.
After the keystroke logging software is installed, the information that you type in your keyboard is available to the hacker without your knowledge. It is a matter of time before he or she captures your bank account or credit card information and transaction requirements, such as the Card Verification Value (CVV) number. Next time, when you check the balance of your bank account, you may not have much to count!
How to detect keylogger?
Can a keylogger be detected? yes, it’s possible and there are few ways to detect whether a Keylogger is installed and active. Some of the signs are:
- When you are browsing you will sense slowness
- When you are typing your mouse or keyboard may pause and displays the information you typed only after few seconds.
Keylogger detector software or anti malware that detect keyloggers can be used to detect keyloggers.
So, how to remove keyloggers and stay safe from keystroke logging software? Let us check out.
Some of the measures to protect yourself from keyloggers are listed here:
Use virtual keyboard: Use a virtual keyboard for typing confidential information, such as password and credit card.
Install antivirus: Improve the security of your computer by installing antivirus software provided by reputed companies, such as Kaspersky and malwarebytes.
Patch operating system: Ensure the latest updates are applied to the operating system.
Two factor authentication: Implement two factor authentication to stop hackers from accessing compromised passwords. This feature prevents hackers from keylogging because without the token code, it’s not possible to login to the account.