What are Keyloggers and how to defend yourself

They can be software or hardware components, whose peculiarity is to record every character, symbol or number typed by users on the keyboard

There is a new, little known and very dangerous bogeyman that computer security will have to deal with. Its name is Keylogger, a malicious system that gets hold of users' personal data, and acts by storing everything that is typed on the keyboard.

A Keylogger in most cases is a malicious software. It may also happen, although it is very rare, that the mechanism is of hardware origin. In such cases, however, the computer must be physically tampered with. Keyloggers usually infect a computer in the same way as any other type of malware. It is enough to open a link contained in an email. The Keylogger will then silently and without a trace enter the system and record every character, symbol and number that the user presses on the keyboard. The data is then uploaded to a server that is accessible to hackers.

Keylogger: Why it is dangerous

Compared to other forms of malware, Keylogger is definitely more invasive. In fact, once it is installed, it is able to store any information typed on the keyboard. This includes passwords, credit card information and many other confidential items. Everything is then sent to the server managed by hackers, who can take possession of this important and sensitive information.

How to protect yourself from Keyloggers

First of all, for Keyloggers originated by malicious software, my best defense is to have a good antivirus. Then there are programs, which can be found on the net for free, that encrypt everything that is typed on the keyboard. So if the malware has managed to infect the machine, the protection software, by masking the data, does not allow hackers to read the personal information of the users. Hackers will find in the server, in fact, only a series of unreadable characters. Another possible solution, if you suspect that you have been hit by a keylogger, is to use the virtual keyboard, which, compared to the physical one, is not accessible to malware.

It is also good to remember that malware does not strike like viruses. In most cases, they need a distracted user to infect a device. Be careful, therefore, about the links you open.