Software keyloggers - one of the major online causes of Identity Theft


           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
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 Employer’s computer systems with viruses, worms, and malicious trojans which could lead to loss of Confidential Company information.
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 employee’s unauthorized use of Company equipment.

                                 Parental Supervision
Parental Supervision of their children’s 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 Decision’.
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 harm’s 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, they’ll probably find a way to get around parental restrictions, (maybe their friend’s computers don’t have keyoggers, filters, spam blockers, etc.) Trust and mutual Parent/Child respect should also be a big part of effective Parental Supervision.
                                Adware and Malware 
Adware and Malware are among the least desirable and most insidious of Spy programs.
They are often implanted without a computer user’s 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 friend’s 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 don’t 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.
                                 Failing relationships
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 don’t 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

Reminder - As with anti-virus programs, a spyware removing program is only as good as the last time it was updated.
Here's an easy way to share this Spy - Snooping keylogger information with Family, Friends and peers. Click Here for a summary of these pages, which you can print and give away.

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Detection of Software Keystroke Logging Spyware

You can obtain many good commercial computer Monitoring/
Surveillance spyware detectors designed to detect

 Chat Loggers,
 Email Recorders,
 Screen Recorders,

and related products that could compromise your privacy and lead to Identity Theft.     

 Most leading  Internet Service Providers (AOL, Earthlink, etc,) make their own spyware  detection and removal versions available as part of their services.
SpyBot Search and Destroy is very highly recommended by Bill Hely, author of The Hacker's Nightmare, which you can Review HERE

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 effectiveness.

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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