Watch out for Keylogger Danger

Watch out for Keylogger Danger

Dennis Snider

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Keyloggers are functions that record every keystroke that you make on a computer. As you may imagine, if this information falls into the wrong hands, it can tear security systems to shreds by allowing a hacker to find out your passwords, pin codes, account numbers, ID details and much more. Once a keylogger has access to your keyboard, you are essentially defenseless

Keyloggers can be implemented using hardware, either within your keyboard or your computer, that sits in the connection between your keyboard and your computer or server, but most commonly they are installed using viruses or malware. They can frequently arrive through phishing emails, malicious websites, email attachments, browser weaknesses, or by exploiting an already infected system. A phishing email may be completely random, whereby hackers send emails out to a large group of people in the hope that someone will fall into the trap, or it may be targeted, for example hackers might get a list of people who subscribe to a cycling website and send them emails offering discounts on cycle gear if the user clicks on a link – the link, of course, downloading the keylogger.

The good news is that there are ways to beat the keyloggers. Firstly, everybody should be considering using two factor authentication for their passwords (and not just to defeat keyloggers but to protect against many other malicious actors). With two-factor authentication, you use one password to login to a particular site or application, and you will then be sent a code to your smart phone or other device that must be entered before access is allowed. This code will be different every time, so even if the hackers detect it they won’t be able to use it.

Virtual keyboards are also another way of defeating the keyloggers, software that allows character input without any keyboard being used.

Finally, as with all security threats, you should ensure that you install the best security software available, make sure you use it properly, and continually update it.