Key-loggers are considered to be one of the dangerous form of Malware. The reason for this is that unlike viruses which damage your system files thus causing problem to you PC could be well observed by you. So you have a good probability of knowing that your system is infected by a virus as it causes instability in your system. This is not the case with key-loggers. They are generally hard to detect. Therefore if you have been infected be a key-logger then it would continue to work in the background without revealing itself. That’s because it does not cause any changes to system files,or shows any pop up or do any damage to your system whatsoever.
Another reason for key-logger being considered dangerous is that unlike viruses which can be quarantined by anti-virus software making your system to return back to stable state,the same could not be said for key-loggers. Worst case scenario for virus infection is that you might have to do a full reinstall of your operating system but at the end you get rid of the infection and damage that has been done. Whereas in case of key-logger,the damage done is normally too much to be repaired.
This is because once key-logger start working, it records each of your keystrokes and send them to a remote server. All your passwords ,credit card details,email etc would also be sent by the key-logger to the server too. So even if you get rid of a key-logger by anti-virus or by fresh reinstall of the OS, you would have still lost very important information by that time.
Having said so much about Key-loggers , lets check out what can be done to prevent your system getting infected from them and if that happens ,then how to clean them :
1. DON’T download any nasty stuff from the internet
This is perhaps the biggest cause of spreading of the key-loggers. You should always take care of what you are downloading. Majority of the crack or patches or keygens are binded with some form of malware like Trojans or Key-loggers. Make sure you don’t download anything of this sort and there is a strong chance that you would never be infected with a key-logger.
2. Install a Good Anti-virus
Installing a good Anti-virus is always your first line of defense against key-logger in case you are attacked. Regularly update you anti-virus so that it contain latest signatures. This is because hackers constantly generate new malware which are Fully Undetectable. So having latest updates will give you a good chance of even identifying new malware.
3. Use password managers for browsers
Key-loggers only detect your key strokes. What is you did not type anything for personal info? Of course that info would be safe from key-logger. You could install software’s like Sticky-Password or Roboform which saves your password and credit card details in very safe and encrypted way. Thus even if you are infected by a key-logger ,your details would be safe as you would not be required to type them.
4. Use Virtual Keyboard
Virtual Keyboard are based on the same principle as above i.e. not requiring the user to type. So make it a point to use virtual keyboard for banking sites. Many banks such as citi bank make it a compulsion to use virtual keyboard for the same reason.
5. Change your passwords on regular basis
Its always a good habit of changing your password regularly. This would protect you from giving your details to some hacker permanently. Also do not use same passwords for various accounts. If you compromise any of your account then attacking your other accounts would be quite easy & if you use same password for different accounts then it would be your biggest mistake.
6. Observe you PC speed and performance
A good way of identifying a key-logger infection is by observing any slowdown in your system. This is because a key-logger creates a process which constantly monitors your keystrokes. This has a good impact on slowing down your PC. Check your running process and if you find any suspicious process running then install a good anti-key logger.
I hope from above mentioned details , you would be more cautious over the internet and take necessary actions for your online safety.