Keylogger software was originally developed for positive, productive uses such as diagnosing problems with a computer system, measuring employee productivity and retrieving lost or deleted data. However, hackers and other criminals have adapted the programme to secretly monitor and collect all keystrokes then send personal information including usernames, passwords, email addresses and/or credit card numbers to a third party.
The information the programme sends is small, and can be done quickly without any apparent performance impact on the target PC. Most users won’t know they have been infected with a Keylogger programme until they find out their identity has been stolen or money has been taken from a bank account or credit card.
This type of e-crime has become one of the most well-known and feared security threats on computers. Keylogger software is generally hard to detect and the damage they do is often meant to extend beyond the infected computer to other users.
Follow these tips to protect yourself against Keyloggers:
- Turn on your firewalls. Firewalls are designed to prevent outside access to your computer. Being constantly connected to the Internet makes you even more vulnerable to hackers. A firewall will not stop the Keylogger, but it will help prevent the transmission of the data back to the hacker.
- Install antivirus software and keep it updated. Keyloggers often get in your PC system via viruses, trojans and other malware.
- Always use the on-screen keyboard while entering confidential details, like passwords or credit card numbers.
- Never download and install software from suspicious websites.
- Change your passwords frequently. This will help minimize the potential damage of a keylogging attack. Once you change your passwords, the information stolen from you is useless to the hackers.