If we put them together, the keystroke logger definition that we will come up with is spyware that captures and logs every key you press on the keyboard to steal personal information.
How Does a Keylogger Virus Work?
Once a keylogger virus infects the computer, it will run silently in the background and monitor your computer activities. If you open a website and log in your account, it logs your username and password. A keylogger virus is connected to a remote server where it transmits the information. That is how hackers steal money from the victim’s bank account.
A keylogger virus also can also track and record your online searches. Your browsing information is sold to advertising companies. It generates revenue for the malware author. So don’t be surprised to see ads related to your online searches on random websites. That is how a keylogger virus works.
How Does a Keylogger Get Installed on the Computer?
Hackers are able to install keyloggers on target computers using social engineering techniques. As a brief description, social engineering is a strategy that involves manipulation.
1. Phishing Emails
Keyloggers enter the computer by phishing emails. Spear phishing or phishing emails remain the number one cause of malware infections. It is disguised as an important email to trick you into opening it. However, it contains malware. Once you download the email attachment, a keylogger installs silently on your computer.
2. Phishing URLs
A keylogger virus may also enter your computer through a phishing URL. It is an infected link that redirects you to a website that contains a keylogger. Once you open the website, it installs a keylogger in the background. This strategy is also known as a drive-by-download. This one is difficult to detect. You need to protect your computer with anti malware software with an anti-phishing feature.
3. Exploit Kits
A keylogger may also get through to your computer by exploit kits. These are tools that scan for vulnerabilities on IoT devices and browsers to install malware. Once exploit kits discover a vulnerability, they inject malware such as keyloggers.
4. Fake Software
A keylogger can also infect the computer by pretending as a legitimate file. It may disguise as a flash player up or mobile app. This is a common tactic of hackers today. To detect a fake app, you need a trusted anti malware software that deeply scans every file that enters the computer.
How Can You Protect Yourself from Keyloggers?
Taking caution online and developing a good browsing habit can be your first line of defense. To ensure your protection against a keylogger attack, you may take into consideration the following preventive measures:
2- Step Verification
Since keyloggers allow hackers to make unauthorized by transmitting your personal information through a remote server, better use a 2- Step Verification. A code will be sent to your phone. You need to enter the code to confirm your identity. This adds another layer of security to prevent your account from getting hacked. Even if the hacker obtains your password, he still needs to enter the pin code to access your account.
Install Anti Malware Software
To prevent a keylogger infection, install a reputable anti malware software on your computer. The anti malware software deep scans the file that enters the computer, thus prevents the entry of malicious software. It can also detect spear phishing, phishing URL, and exploit kits. The anti malware is the primary defense of your computer not just from keyloggers but from any malicious software. Different types of dangerous malware are spread on the Internet. Better look for a reliable anti malware software.
What are the Signs of a Keylogger on the Computer?
Keyloggers are designed to work secretly in the background. So detecting a keylogger infection on the computer is difficult. It can usually lie undetected for a long time. The best way to detect a keylogger on the computer is to do a full malware scan. The anti malware will scan the hard drive and other critical folders on the computer. Once the malware scanning process is complete, the anti malware software will display the threats detected and removed from the computer.
Based on the keystroke logger definition and function, a keylogger is a dangerous threat that allows a hacker to use your account without your permission. Combining a good browsing habit and anti malware software is the key to avoid falling victim to a keylogger attack.
Do you want to learn how to protect your business network from keyloggers? Click here to read about endpoint protection.