A keylogger is a type of spyware that secretly logs your keystrokes so thieves can get your account information, banking and credit card data, user names, passwords and other personal information.
Keylogging refers to using software to record everything you type on your keyboard. The program then sends the log file to a specified server, where thieves can read any information you type , including passwords, credit card numbers, instant messages, e-mails, e-mail addresses, and website URLs.
Where keylogging comes from
Keyloggers are a type of activity monitoring software that is installed on your computer without your knowledge. The most common ways of doing this are through phishing, social engineering, bundling the keylogger with other software or downloads on file-sharing sites or installing it when you open an email attachment.
How to recognize keylogging
Detecting keyloggers is difficult since they're designed to stay hidden. But there are some signs to look out for, such as slower than usual web browsing, mouse or keystrokes that "stick" or don't show up on the screen as what you typed, or getting error screens when loading graphics or web pages.
How to remove keyloggers
While you could manually try to look for any hidden software buried in your directory and delete it, this would be time-consuming and inefficient. The best way to get rid of keyloggers is to use anti-keylogging software, as found in a strong antivirus and internet security suite, to scan your system for malicious software and remove it for you.
How to prevent keylogging
- Don't trust any files you download from unknown sources
- Use a virtual keyboard
- Switch to an alternative keyboard layout
Protect yourself against keylogging
It's a good idea to always protect your logins either by using two-step verification or using a password manager to create and store unbreakable passwords. Since the password manager will automatically input your passwords for you, there's nothing for a keylogger to record. Finally, you should use a high-quality antivirus program such as Avast Free Antivirus to screen for, weed out, and remove any malicious files.