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keylogger (keystroke logging)

A keylogger (keystroke logging) is a type of surveillance software that once installed on a system, has the capability to record every keystroke made on that system. The recording is saved in a log file, usually encrypted.

A keylogger can record instant messages, email, and capture any information you type at any time using your keyboard, including usernames, passwords and other personally identifiable information (pii). The log file created by the keylogger can then be sent to a specified receiver. Some keylogger programs will also record any email addresses you use and the URLs of any websites you visit.

Who Uses Keyloggers?

Keyloggers, as a surveillance tool, are often used by employers to ensure employees use work computers for business purposes only. There's also a growing market of parents who want to use keyloggers to stay informed about a child's online activities.

Unfortunately, keyloggers can also be embedded in spyware allowing your personal information to be transmitted to an unknown third party.

How to Tell if a Keystroke Logger is Installed

Usually an anti-virus or spyware program will detect and report any keystroke logging software on the system. Also, you can view the Task Manager (list of current programs) on a Windows PC by ctrl+alt+del in Windows.  Any program names in the list that you're unfamiliar with can be researched online to determine the type of program.

Task Manager

Tip: View applications in Windows Task manager to look for keystroke loggers on your PC.

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