Keyloggers are one of the most notoriously popular and dangerous security threat we face in today’s time. They are hard to detect thus making them more of a menace. The damage caused by keyloggers is beyond our imagination, it can harm the machine in such a manner that one cannot handle.
Keyloggers are spyware programs installed in your system through Internet. It can be installed in the form of a torrent file, a file attachment or any program. So, now the question arises, what exactly does a keylogger do and how harmful is it?
What are Keyloggers?
Keyloggers are programs that record each keystroke made by you over the keyboard. Thus, making it easy for the hacker to gain access to passwords, usernames, bank details, credit card number and all personal and confidential information from the computer.
How Do They Get Downloaded?
Keyloggers can get downloaded most specifically via torrent clients. Moreover, social networking sites are an easy and regular target for malware developers, as it’s easy to trap users into downloading a keylogger. Say for example, if one of your friends, who has been a victim of keylogger attack, shares a link over the social networking site, you will click on it without hitch. This way keylogger gets installed without much struggle.
Also, public places like online libraries and other similar places are also not spared from keylogger attack. The data stolen from all these places and via keyloggers is used for various purpose. The primary purpose of stealing personal data is for financial benefit.
How to Protect Machine from Keyloggers?
There are various ways one can use to stay protected against keyloggers. Using these methods, you can ensure that you don’t become a victim of identity theft. No defense is perfect, but these steps will improve your chances.
- Use A Firewall
Keyloggers collect the information and it is transmitted to a third party to cause harm. But without an online connectivity this cannot happen. So, does that mean we should cut ourselves from the online world? No! instead you can use a Firewall as it is a great first line of defense to keep you protected.
Firewall monitors all computer activities more closely than you ever could. It keeps check on all data upload and download. So, if a program is detected to be attempting to send data out, firewall seeks user permission and displays a warning message. Also, you can use programs that provide user with the option of closing all inbound and outbound data.
- Use Password Manager
Keyloggers work on a very simple rule every keystroke you type in is stored and then shared with third party. It’s hard for anyone to identify and know if a keylogger is installed on the machine. But to stay protected one can take advantage of keyloggers weakness. What keylogger too has a weakness?
Yes, you read it right. Keyloggers weakness can be your strength as keylogger cannot keep a log of things that aren’t typed. So, if you use a password manager or use the automatic form filling facility provided by most of the browser, keyloggers won’t be able to track anything. The very first time you type in the password and save it, next time you don’t have to type in.
You can use any software or the browsers in built functionality to use it.
- Keep Your Software Updated
There is nothing bad in being proactive especially when it comes to your computer’s security. Keeping software updated is a good idea. Keyloggers, like other malicious software can exploit susceptibilities to get into the system without your knowledge. But your antivirus is wiser when updated.
Exploits can be found in all software, that is the reason why software get updates from time to time. Even operating systems like Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X receive patches to fill in security gaps. These patches take care of the critical exploits. If you fail to update your system it will be left open for all sorts of attacks to get in. So, to avoid all this keep your software and operating system up to date. This proactive remedy can stop most attacks from happening before they can start.
- Change Your Passwords Frequently
Most users use a single password for all accounts and they don’t even change it. Thus, making their accounts prone to attacks.
Changing your passwords often helps minimize the possibility of damage a keylogging attack can cause. Your password can be stolen, but it is unlikely that it will be used the moment it is taken. So, it’s advisable to change your account password every two weeks. This will make the stolen information no longer useful.
Education goes a long way, it helps to stay protected and prevent keyloggers and another spyware. For example – one should always download software from trusted sources.
- Use On-Screen Keyboard
As mentioned earlier keyloggers capture clicks made on Windows screen. So, if you use a virtual keyboard nothing will be recorded, this makes you stand safe from keylogger attack.
- Cover Your Webcam
There are many computer viruses out there which work like keyloggers, they can spy on you. So, the best way to stay protected is to cover the webcams from these types of attacks.
If you follow these small tips you will be able to stay protected against keylogger attacks. Since these attacks cannot be detected therefore, the best way of defense are these simple tricks.