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July 18, 2021updated 26 Jan 2023 11:55am

What is a keylogger?

By Tech Monitor

A keylogger, also known as a keystroke logger or keyboard logger, is a type of software or hardware device that records every keystroke made on a computer or device. Keyloggers can be used for a variety of purposes, including monitoring employee activity, tracking children’s online activity and capturing passwords and other sensitive information.

keylogger
Image: Shutterstock

Keyloggers work by recording every keystroke made on a computer or device and storing it in a log file. Some keyloggers are designed to capture only certain types of keystrokes, such as login credentials or chat messages, while others are more comprehensive and capture every single keystroke made on the device.

Keyloggers can be installed in a variety of ways, including through malware infections, physical access to the device, or by downloading a keylogger program from the internet. Some keyloggers are designed to be hidden and operate in the background, making them difficult to detect.

How do keyloggers work?

There are two main types of keyloggers: software keyloggers and hardware keyloggers.

Software keyloggers are programs that are installed on a computer or device and operate in the background, capturing keystrokes as they are made. These keyloggers are often hidden and can be difficult to detect, as they do not appear in the list of installed programs or show any visible signs of their presence.

Hardware keyloggers, on the other hand, are physical devices that are attached to the keyboard or inserted between the keyboard and the computer. These keyloggers capture keystrokes as they are typed and store them in their own internal memory, which can be accessed later. Hardware keyloggers are often easier to detect, as they are physical devices that must be attached to the keyboard or computer.

Regardless of the type of keylogger, they all work by recording keystrokes and storing them in a log file. This file can then be accessed by the person who installed the keylogger, or it can be sent to a remote location for review.

How to detect a keylogger

If you suspect that a keylogger may be installed on your computer or device, there are a few steps you can take to detect it.

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First, check the list of installed programs on your device to see if there are any unfamiliar programs that may be a keylogger. If you find an unfamiliar program, you can use an antivirus program to scan your device for malware and remove any keyloggers that may be present.

You can also use a keylogger detection tool to scan your device for keyloggers. These tools are designed to detect both software and hardware keyloggers and can help you identify any keyloggers that may be present on your device.

If you are unable to detect a keylogger using these methods, it is possible that the keylogger is operating in a hidden or stealth mode. In this case, it may be necessary to seek the help of a computer professional to identify and remove the keylogger.

The author generated this text in part with GPT-3, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.

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