What are Keyloggers?

United States
January 28, 2008 10:09am CST
Can anyone please explain to me what a keylogger is? I've been told that it is hacking spyware that takesover your computer. I think I might have one on my home desktop computer but i;m not sure how to identify it. I have been told that it can be attatched to downloaded applications. Can anyone please explain to me how to detect them and how to get rid of them.
2 people like this
3 responses
@chunter (1761)
• Singapore
28 Jan 08
Like you said, its a virus that is installed in your system stealthily and it tracks what you type... Meaning, if you are visiting your webmail or your bank account, keying in your username and password will be tracked by the keylogger and in turn feedback to the hacker...The hacker will be able to steal your username and password, and your account eventually.. Install an antivirus software, update it and do a thorough scan on your system
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jan 08
Thank you very much for your response/help. I was doing some reseach online but still couldn't really understand what it was. I was hoping I would have to buy another computer.
@dodoguy (1297)
• Australia
28 Jan 08
Hi mishastar, A keylogger is a program that sits quietly on your PC and records the sequences of key presses that you enter on your keyboard. At some point, the keylogger program might then send what it has recorded from your keyboard activity in a file to a server on the Internet - without you even being aware that it has happened. The info that keyloggers are designed to capture is typically stuff like passwords and account numbers - credit card details, for example. The keylogger program sends this info to someone who will then try to use it to get your money, or to buy things with your money. You can install security software which will search for and remove problems like keylogger programs. You might like to try [ http://www.lavasoft.de/ ], [ http://spybot.info/ ] or [ http://www.avast.com/eng/avast-virus-cleaner.html ], which all have free versions of their respective security applications. There are a lot of other similar programs available on the web, but you have to do a bit of searching to find what will work best for you. I hope that helps a little.
• United States
28 Jan 08
Thank you for responsing and leaving me those links. They are really helpful, I tried asking the Best Buy geek squad for help but they wouldn't really get into much detail because they wanted me to pay for there services.
@dodoguy (1297)
• Australia
28 Jan 08
Hi again, I do hope you're able to resolve your concerns. Here's another web site that might interest you - [ http://www.ccleaner.com/ ]. That's for a free program called Cr*p Cleaner, which is very helpful to manage your computer on a daily basis. If you install this program, then it helps you to get familiar with what is NORMAL for your computer so that you can recognize when something has been changed (eg, by a virus or other program that shouldn't be there). It also helps you to clean up all the junk that otherwise can accumulate and cause problems over time.
@cheongyc (5075)
• Malaysia
17 Apr 08
I think you had got the answer from the previous responder in this discussion. But I would like to express my opinion as well As you know, the keylogger is a software that could track all the keystrokes on the key board and send the key stroke sequence to somewhere else. This impose a great risk to the security, because if you are keying sensitive information like credit card or online banking website password, the information might be leaked to third party through the key logger program residing in the PC that you used. Therefore, you should avoid using the public computer to purchase online or login to your bank account. The keylogger not necessary in the software form. It could be a physical device attached to the PC as well. Besides, it also not necessary in virus form. It could be just a subroutine service which is launched automatically when the PC operating system starts up. I just learn yesterday that, we should use the virtual keyboard to key in sensitive information instead of the conventional keyboard. In such a way, the keylogger couldn't track what password or credit number had been keyed in.
• United States
24 Apr 08
I've never thought about the risk of using a personal computer to do tasks that involve my personal information (credit card number). Thanks for the information.