What Is A Key Logger

Howard Poston
Oct 19, 2023
What Is A Key Logger

Keylogging, or keystroke logging, is a cyber attack that tracks a user’s keystroke on their computer or mobile device. Keyloggin may be installed on the device through malware, or victims can be targeted through phishing emails. Once a device is infected with keylogging, all keystrokes are sent back to the attacker through email or a remote server. The apparent harm is that cybercriminals can trace and use the victims’ login credentials nefariously.

Types of Key Loggers

Key loggers can be categorized into two types.

  • Software – Software key loggers are usually programs installed on a computer without the victims’ knowledge or consent. Software keylogger programs are dangerous because they can be hidden in other programs.
  • Hardware – Hardware key loggers are less standard than software key loggers attached to a computer’s keyboard cable or USB port.

How Key Loggers Work

Software keyloggers will monitor the keyboard input of a computer’s operating system. It records every key pressed, and the keylogger sends the information to the hacker over the internet to save to a local device.

Hardware keyloggers intercept signals between the keyboard and the computer, and the keylogger can then store the information in memory or send it to the cybercriminal over a wireless connection.

How To Protect Yourself From Key Loggers

Below are steps you can take to avoid becoming the victim of key logger attacks:

  • Update software – Keep your web browser and operating system up to date, as this protects your data and network against known cyber vulnerabilities.
  • Exert caution – Be weary of suspicious links, images, URLs, or websites because they can contain malware.
  • Protect yourself – Use a security solution, including web filtering and malware protection, that prevents malicious activity from infecting your computer.
  • Strong passwords – Strong passwords and multi-factor authentication can help reduce cybersecurity risks.
  • Hardware keyboards – They are less vulnerable to keyloggers than software keyboards.
Howard Poston

Howard Poston is a copywriter, author, and course developer with experience in cybersecurity and blockchain security, cryptography, and malware analysis. He has an MS in Cyber Operations, a decade of experience in cybersecurity, and over five years of experience as a freelance consultant.

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