Some Keystroke Logger Software Can Easily be Spotted – Here’s How

Your computer is a tool that you depend on more than you know. With it in front of you, you know no isolation; it is your means of connecting to the outside world. On a rainy day, it is your source of entertainment. It is where you first turn to when you want to learn something new every day. If you are one of the lucky few that work from home, it is also the means of earning your daily wages. With all these wonderful features in it, wouldn’t you want to make sure that it wasn’t also the source of your woes? We’re talking about the best keystroke logger software out there and the damage they can do to you – if you don’t know how to spot them.

To begin with, the best keystroke logger programs are called "the best" because they are good at what they do and they do it stealthily. The Average Joe wouldn’t even know they were there running in the background because they manage to hide themselves quite well. To the unassuming eye, they appear to be programs that are supposed to be running. It is only at a closer glance that they are revealed.

To help you, here are a few ways you can find out if there are any of the so-called best keystroke logger programs on your computer or laptop:

  • The Start-Up Time: one of the best ways to tell if you have any malware (including some of the best keystroke logger software) running on your computer is by the time it takes your computer or laptop to boot up. It is understandable that over time, depending on the usage and the software, applications and the size of data that is stored on it, your boot up time will progressively increase. But, if you notice a sudden change in booting up time, and you have not done anything special, then you should probably have your computer checked ASAP.

  • The Task Manager is Your Friend: after turning on your computer, and before you start any programs, fire up your Task Manager (In Windows 7: CTRL + ALT + DEL and then click on "Start Task Manager") and have a look at the processes that are running on your computer.

    First, sort the processes by name. If you see more than one "winlogon.exe" processes running, then you should probably be worried, because there is supposed to be one and only one of them running at any given time. But, be warned, just because there is only one "winlogon.exe" running doesn’t necessarily mean that you are safe from invisible keystroke loggers either.

  • Activity While Idle: a very good sign, that even invisible keystroke loggers find hard to suppress, is if your computer or laptop’s hard disk shows activity even when you are not doing anything on it. Most computers and laptops have a blinking light that shows when the hard disk is being accessed. It blinks on and off as you work on it. But, if you see that it is blinking rapidly and you have nothing running, you should be worried about keyloggers.

    In cases where there are no light indicators to indicate disk activity, listening for sounds can serve the same purpose. The hard disk makes a noticeable sound and the fan picks up speed when there is major reading and writing being done to the hard disk.

Note: Contrary to popular belief, invisible keystroke loggers do not just record your typing. The best keystroke logger programs come with features that do much more than that. Some can take screenshots, while others can record your browsing history. Others can run other malicious codes to open backdoors on your computer for further exploitation and installation of Trojans. It is these extra processes that cause the activity when the hard disk should be idle.

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Category: Learning Center