How to Detect Keyloggers?

The term "keylogger" means software or hardware that is generally installed on your device, which logs whatever you type or press on the keyboard, be it virtual or your system’s hardware. It can be software as well as hardware. They are generally used for surreptitiously tracking the user’s data, most often to steal their passwords, bank id’s, address, mobile number, and much such sensitive information.

While most of the time, keyloggers are used for unethical purposes by cybercriminals to gather various personal details like sensitive data or passwords, very rarely, they are also used for legitimate purposes.

Types of Keyloggers

There are basically two types of keyloggers −

  • Hardware-enabled keyloggers − Traditional keyloggers, keyboard overlays, USB keyloggers are a few examples of this.

  • Software-enabled keyloggers − Phishing attacks and Trojan keyloggers are a few examples of this.

Keyloggers can be easily installed on one’s system via browser links, malicious scripts, email attachments, and even disguised as legitimate downloads. The person might even never know if they are not aware of keyloggers.

Now let’s see how to detect keyloggers on our system and also once detected, what can you do to remove them?

How to Prevent Keyloggers?

Step 1 − Updating your OS and all the applications present in your OS might help you expose security holes that may lead to this infection. Also, don’t click freely on the Internet, especially at the places where the site is unknown, and you are getting frequent pop-ups.

Step 2 − Keep your web browser’s security settings up to date with what you need, like don’t give permissions of location and your network to unknown sites if not required. Delete all the cookies which track your system’s personal information and disable all the unwanted pop-ups.

Step 3 − Install all the security software like antivirus and anti-malware and keep them updated to get the max. security benefits from them

How to Detect Keyloggers?

Step 1 − Open the task manager in your system and then click “more details,” which is present in the lower-left corner. This will show you all the processes and applications running in your system at that instant.

Step 2 − In the “process” subsection, check for suspicious processes running in the background which you might not recognize or which is unwanted. If you find any which you think is not required, click on that process and click “end-task,” which is present in the lower right corner.

Step 3 − Now, after finishing this for the “processes” tab, repeat the same steps for “start-up” tabs that is to identify any suspicious start-up and then disable it if you find any.

Step 4 − Many keyloggers have the ability to hide themselves from the task manager or sometimes disguise themselves as legitimate software, so in such cases, use anti-malware software to scan for viruses and malware on the system regularly.

Step 5 − Also, since sometimes it can have hardware too so if you have a PC, then check whether any unfamiliar device is attached to your system’s PC or desktop and if you find such, remove it.

Step 6 − In all the above steps, if you detect any keylogger, try to remove it with the help of an uninstaller or windows defender, or sometimes you can also use some outside tools like Hijack, and at last reinstall your OS of the computer.

Updated on: 17-Aug-2021


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