One of the reasons key-logger spyware is so concerning, is because instead of being produced by hackers with criminal intent, key loggers can be purchased online or in a local business supply store for perfectly legal purposes.
WHAT IS A KEY LOGGER?
A key-logger literally captures the series of key strokes a user makes when using a keyboard, and transfers that information so that it can be evaluated and searched by whoever installed the software. A key-logger can be installed directly, or remotely through a download. Like most spyware, it will then do nothing to harm a computer system, but will lurk and “spy” in the background looking for the specific information it is designed to seek.
HOW CAN SPYING BE LEGAL?
Good question, and the answer is perfectly logical…As a parent or an employer, it is perfectly legal to install a key logger to evaluate what children, or employees might be doing when they are online. Parents may use a key logger to monitor their teens internet usage, while employers can legally check up on their employees to assure that they are not spending their workday on social media or sites like e-bay. While it is perfectly legal for these specific purposes, using a key-logger outside of these specific purposes is not ethical.
WHAT INFORMATION WILL A KEY-LOGGER LOOK FOR?
A key-logger can be set to look for a specific string of keystroke that would spell out a specific word. An employer may want to plug in a search for the string that would spell out a banned website or social media site. If the key logger notes that string, it will flag an alert that will inform the employer when one of their employees is using a work computer for personal purposes.
A legally purchased key-logger will normally contain language that prohibits its usage as an illegal spying agent, but that is not going to stop those with malicious or criminal intent. When a key-logger is ILLEGALLY employed, the reasons for its usage become even more disturbing, because not only can alerts be set for a string of letters, it can also be set to track for a string of numbers like those used in bank accounts, insurance information and credit card. Installation of a key-logger on a computer that one personally owns, or on a computer system that is owned by a company is perfectly legal (though companies may be compelled to inform their employees to the fact they have that ability). Installation on a a system that one does not personally own, or that is not owned by a company is clearly not legal, but someone who is six time zones away is probably not concerned with prosecution by your local authorities, and they will very likely enjoy maxing out your credit cards or sharing your company secrets.
HOW DO I STOP KEY -LOGGERS FROM GETTING MY INFORMATION?
A solution called an “Anti-Logger” will go a long way to prevent the pilfering of your company information. acting much like an anti-malware product, it will specifically detect and eliminate any key logger that might be in your system, and prevent any other threats. BUT BEWARE.. Some anti-loggers are better that others. We recommend and carry the Zemana line for its ability to detect and destroy even the most discreet and insidious key-logger threats. Anti-key-loggers are not cheap, but consider the alternative…