What is a Software Keylogger ?
Software Keyloggers are
surveillance programs used as spyware, adware, or malware. Malware
is Malicious Software.
Keyloggers detect, record, and often
transmit records of keystrokes made by persons using computers
in the workplace, at home, in cyber-cafes (public computer rental
environments), possibly even in public libraries and schools.
Although the legal use of these detection devices depends upon the intent of the individuals who caused
them to be implanted on a given computer, the legitimacy of
their applications is suspect.
Here are some places where these keylogger surveillance
programs are used:
Employers use them to monitor their employees use of
company computers on company time, often as a deterrent to loss of
production by visits to pornographic websites, unauthorized instant
messaging, email joke exchanges, visiting chat rooms, etc. All of
these activities have the potential of infecting the Employers
computer systems with viruses, worms, and malicious
trojans which could lead to loss of Confidential Company
When Employers create and publish Company Policies regarding
unauthorized use of their computers, employees are forewarned
that they could suffer undesirable consequences for infractions to
these policies, and if they have been advised that they are
being monitored, they are probably less inclined to challenge the
rules and regulations set forth.
Are they legitimate? Employers
have the right to protect themselves from possible legal problems,
loss of production, damaged reputations, complete shutdown of their
computer networks, etc. All of these, and more, can happen from an
employees unauthorized use of Company equipment.
Parental Supervision of their childrens web explorations can
be enhanced by using keylogging software.
Are the children being
spied upon? Yes. Should they be
aware of the existence of surveillance software on the family
computers, or on their own computers? This is a Parental
We hear time and time again of the dangers inherent in Chat
Rooms, Instant Messaging, visits to undesirable and X rated
websites. Keyloggers can provide the tools to help Parents
protect and educate their children and keep them out of harms way.
Is this a legitimate use? It would certainly seem to be.
Keep in mind that children today are very informed and computer
literate! Many begin their computer education before even going
to school. If they wish to participate in the less desirable
internet activities, theyll probably find a way to get around
parental restrictions, (maybe their friends computers dont have keyoggers, filters, spam blockers, etc.) Trust and mutual
Parent/Child respect should also be a big part of effective Parental
Adware and Malware are among the least desirable and most
insidious of Spy programs.
They are often implanted without a computer users knowledge.
They can arrive on your computer from visiting certain websites,
downloading pictures and highly promoted, but tainted software
programs, in Trojan horses residing in email attachments, on a
friends floppy disk, an on and on.
Problem is, these spyware programs are
usually invisible. Their developers go to great pains to
keep you, the user, from detecting them. They dont show up on the
Task Bar, as an icon on your Desktop, in the Start-up list or on
your Program list.
The secretive nature of spyware is also built into the
Surveillance programs that can be purchased by anyone from dozens
of spyware software developers.
Legal use? No, and major legislative effort is being
exercised to protect us from the personal damage that can arise from
these clandestine intrusions.
Consider the application of Spyware for monitoring failing
relationships. It is used by Spouses, Lovers, and Life Partners
to monitor Instant Message logs, Chat Room visits, and email
messages. (Even without spyware, many of these records are
already hidden in your computer files). Spyware does a better
job of recording every keystroke made by a suspected partner. Many
Spyware removal applications can find and remove these records.
Is it legal? Is it
even Fair? Many times these answers, and
their consequences, are determined in ensuing Court Room events.
An important caution, here.
Generally, Virus detection and removal programs DO NOT find and remove SpyWare
such as keystroke loggers.
Some of these developers not only sell
a variety of their spying programs, they offer free 'lite' versions
and even include free anti-keylogger software in their product line.
What you dont know can really hurt you.
Information, such as that
presented here, should go a long way toward preparing you to avoid
the hassles and agony that can result by being unacquainted with the
less than honest activities rampant on the internet
As with anti-virus programs, a spyware removing program is only
as good as the last time it was updated.
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Detection of Software
Keystroke Logging Spyware
can obtain many good commercial computer Monitoring/
Surveillance spyware detectors designed to detect
and related products that
could compromise your privacy and lead to Identity Theft.
Internet Service Providers (AOL, Earthlink, etc,) make their own
spyware detection and removal versions available as part of their
SpyBot Search and Destroy is very highly recommended by
Bill Hely, author of
The Hacker's Nightmare, which you can
Independent testing companies also rate NoAdware,
Spyware Eliminator, and Pal Spyware Remover among the
more popular Spyware Removing applications
It's usually a safe bet to
select from among the more popular applications since their
popularity is usually dependent on their efficiency and
In our experience,
XoftSpy and AdAware have done a effective job of finding and removing
browser hijackers, adware and keyloggers from our computers.
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