Keyloggers are perhaps the most dreaded type of spyware there is. These programs are of different sorts, but overall, a keylogger’s function is to record individual keystrokes that are made by a user on the physical keyboard of a device such as a PC keyboard or smartphone keypad. Now these programs can start archiving all keystrokes and sending the data out to a remote location. This essentially means that all sorts of information, from passwords to full-fledged chat conversations can be accessible to anyone who is making use of a keylogger on your system.
If you are worried that a keylogger may be present on your computer, you can use the following ways to detect their presence.
- Check with your antivirus. By making sure your system is virus free, you will be able to get rid of any keyloggers that may enter your system as part of Trojan attacks.
- Get a working firewall. This is important for the overall security and will help notify you whenever some program attempts to access your system.
- Download a keylogger detector. There are specific programs that are available which are designed to specifically hunt out keyloggers. If you feel that no other way is working for you, then you can try SpyBot S&D to help you out. This program searches for some of the more known kind of keyloggers plaguing the internet.
- Recall any suspicious mails. Usually keyloggers are part of phishing scams and are employed through emails. If you have received any suspicious email in the past yet no virus is detected through your antivirus, then you may have keylogger presence.
- Remove free software. Sometimes free software programs that claim to accelerate your system speed or whatnot are actually fronts for keylogger programs. Remove any such software then research whether it is sound or not before rerunning it.
- Check for physical devices. Hardware keyloggers are notorious in nature as they are near impossible to detect online. Check the space around your mouse or keyboard for any physical attachment.
- Check the Task List. This is a manual way of detection. You can get to the task list by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del on your windows. Look through the running tasks and if anything comes up suspicious, investigate it further as it may be a keylogger running in stealth.
- Scan the hard disk. Here you need to be looking at the most recent files. If any files are being continuously updated, then closely look into those particular files. In all likelihood they are log files which are archiving keystrokes. This would mean you definitely have keylogger presence.
- Check Startup Tasks. If a keylogger is running on your system, it would start running the moment your computer is started and hence show up on your system configuration tool. Type ‘misconfig’ in the run box and examine the running tasks. If anything is out of place, investigate them further.
- Be observant of those around you. If you have a keylogger installed, then someone you know is probably using it to get access to your information. So if someone around you knows a little too much, that may indicate keylogger on your systems.