How To Prevent Keylogging
How To Prevent Keylogging
Every day, hundreds of thousands of online accounts are broken into by hackers using advanced software and embedded malware. One way or another, hackers compromise your device and implant virus programs that allow them to spy on your online activities, read the keystrokes you enter online, and steal your information.
One of the most common ways that hackers are able to compromise devices is by taking advantage of computers connected to unprotected or unsecured networks. Without a good VPN to encrypt your online traffic and data, you and the data on your device may as well be sitting ducks, just waiting to be attacked by data thieves.
One of the oldest and most common malware programs that hackers use is called a “keylogger.” They can use these programs to steal confidential credit card numbers, your passwords and usernames, and read sensitive emails and messages you’re sending online.
Pretty scary, right?
Well, in today’s article, we’re going to break down exactly what keyloggers are and how they work. We’ll explain the most common ways that keyloggers get onto your device and how to prevent them, in the first place! Let’s take a look.
What Is Keylogging?
If you’re new to the term, then you’re probably wondering what the heck a keylogger is…
Well, as the name implies, a keylogger is a virus that logs your keystrokes. Basically, the virus spies on you by recording everything that you type into your keyboard. This means that keyloggers could be working behind the scenes to read your login credentials, the content of private messages, and even the credit card numbers that you enter into online stores.
Unlike many other viruses that are more obvious to detect, keyloggers are silent killers that often go unnoticed until the day that your credit card information or bank account login is sold on the dark web and a malicious hacker steals all of your money from under your nose.
Are Keylogger Viruses Dangerous?
Yes, keylogger viruses are very dangerous. By themselves, they may not damage your computer the same way that other viruses do (by overclocking your CPU, corrupting files, etc.); however, their intent is often far more malicious. Keylogger viruses can read everything you type into your keyboard and relay the information to the hackers who planted the keylogger virus. What they do with your information is completely out of your control.
How Do Keyloggers Get On Your Computer?
Like most viruses, keyloggers are often disguised as seemingly normal files and programs on your computer. It’s not uncommon for keyloggers to be embedded in movie downloads, wallpaper downloads, games, and even cheap, low-quality “anti-virus” software.
Here are the most common ways that keyloggers can get embedded on your device.
1. Phishing Emails: Phishing emails are messages that are sent to your account in an attempt to “fish” information out of you. They may also be links to dangerous websites posing as legitimate websites.
One of the most common phishing email scams we’ve seen going around lately is from hackers posing as your cell phone company. They’ll send you an email apologizing for a service outage and say that they’re giving you free money or a free phone. Then, you’ll go to the link, download their file, and get a virus instead.
2. Torrenting Files: Another common way that keyloggers get on your account is from torrenting files. Torrenting involves downloading files on a peer-to-peer network, which means that the file you’re downloading is also able to be accessed and modified by other “seeders” on the network. The only real way to prevent this is to have some hardcore anti-virus software and a high-quality VPN like CyberGhost VPN to mask your IP address.
3. Bad Websites: Another common way that keyloggers can get on your device is from bad websites. Some of the most common websites that download keyloggers on your computer are low-quality porn websites, wallpaper download sites, and other sites offering questionable goods and services.
4. Games: If you have kids around the house, then chances are that they may be using your computer to download games and other “fun” apps that seem appealing to them. The only problem is that 99% of kids have no idea what a computer virus is and how to look out for scammy-looking games.
The next thing you know, they’re downloading some Barbie doll game that comes with keyloggers and other viruses attached that run in the background. How’s that for ironic?
How To Prevent Keylogging Viruses On Your Device
Not to scare you or anything, but we really just wanted to explain how dangerous keyloggers are and why you should always be aware of the files you’re downloading and the sites you’re using. Almost nobody ever intentionally downloads a virus on their computer. They always come in the form of seemingly innocent or helpful programs designed to deceive you.
So, that being said, here are some of the best practices you can employ to prevent keylogging viruses from being downloaded and embedded in your device.
Use Anti-Malware Software
The number one tip we have is to use high-quality anti-virus and anti-malware software (usually, they’re one and the same). Most free anti-virus programs have the ability to scan and check for keylogger viruses, so you don’t necessarily have to shell out a bunch of money.
The important thing to remember is that no matter what type of anti-virus software you have, make sure that it’s running daily scans on your computer (especially if you’re browsing and downloading files frequently).
If possible, try to use an anti-virus program that has a browser extension or plugin that scans any files before they’re downloaded onto your device. This is a great way to ensure that a keylogger never gets downloaded, to begin with!
Use a VPN Program While Browsing
As we mentioned earlier, one of the most common ways that hackers target your device is when you’re connected to a public internet network or a network that’s not secured with an encryption password.
If you’re connected to these networks, other hackers on the same network can use penetration software to get into your device and start stealing data and information. They can even embed keyloggers onto your device without your knowledge!
The best way to prevent these situations from happening is to use a high-quality VPN when you’re browsing the web on public or unsecured networks. The VPN server will encrypt all of your internet traffic and data, ensuring that no hacker can access your device or embed viruses on it.
Don’t Download Suspicious-Looking Files
Lastly, always make sure to double-check files and programs before you download them. You should only be downloading games, programs, and media from websites that you trust. If the website itself looks shady or a bit scammy, then there’s a high chance that you’ll get a virus from downloading content from the site.
Keyloggers are one of the most common and deadly malware programs that can infect your computer. The worst thing about them is that you’ll almost never be able to tell they’re there until it’s too late. This is why it should be of utmost importance to ensure that you’re always running anti-virus scans on your device and monitoring the files and programs you download.