Crash Course in Keylogging: What Is It and What Do You Need to Know?
What if threat actors could see everything that you did online? Everything you searched, every message you sent, every password you entered?
If your device is infected with the right software, then this nightmare can become all too real!
Keylogging technology records and stores the keystrokes entered on a computer. It’s not all malicious: It’s used for some content filtering purposes, such as monitoring employee activity, tracking user behavior and collecting data for research. However, these trackers can also get onto your systems if they come in packaged with malware, or a cyber-criminal manually installs the program once they’ve somehow gained physical access to the machine.
It’s not just your search history at risk if this information falls into the wrong hands. The collected data can be used to gain access to passwords and other sensitive information stored on the computer. Everything you’ve typed is at risk!
What You Need to Know About Keyloggers
From DMs to your search history, they can spy on it all. By recording your information and then storing it on a remote computer, keyloggers enable hackers to go through all of your private conversations at leisure, from the comfort of their home. They can find your login info to all sorts of private sites this way. All of this happens without the user’s knowledge, too!
Keylogging is a type of spyware, and it’s a massive threat to account security – when used without authorization. Some companies transparently download keylogging software onto employees’ computers for the sake of monitoring their daily activity and keeping them on task. It’s important to know how and when tracking software is being used on your machine so that you can make smart online choices and recognize suspicious behavior when you see it.
Protecting Your Devices from Keylogging
The good news is, we are not defenseless against malicious keylogging! Antivirus software and continuous monitoring services can help weed out intruders on your network and purge malware from the system.
What if the tracking software compromises your accounts before you notice and purge it from the system? Multi-factor authentication can help here. Even if a threat actor were to steal your log-in and password, they wouldn’t be able to access your one-time code, fingerprint or whatever other form of secondary identification you use to log in.
Password managers can also help provide complex codes that auto-fill securely so that threat actors can’t copy your keystrokes. You should also consider using secure, end-to-end encrypted VPNs when you browse the web so that third-parties can’t view your activity, as virtual private networks distance your IP address from your Internet searches.
Keylogging software may be harder to spot because it does not necessarily cause suspicious behavior on your device, except perhaps running up the CPU and storage systems. It privately captures what you type in and transmits it to the hacker’s own systems. As scary as this sounds, you are not defenseless! Continuous monitoring from your IT provider and smart software can go a long way toward protecting your network and all the systems on it.
As always, education and vigilance are the most important tools in your arsenal! Reading this blog has been a great first step.