Keylogger Protection – How to Protect Your Device against This Malicious Tool
Did you know that in 1999 the US law enforcement agency took down a Philadelphia mob boss with the help of a “keylogger”? Not too shabby now, is it? Well, you can’t always expect happy endings with Keyloggers, especially when they are left at the mercy of hackers and other cybercriminals. Keyloggers are used for various purposes. For instance, you must have heard stories about jealous spouses keeping tabs on every activity of their significant others. Likewise, most IT personnel use these tools to monitor network bandwidth usage or troubleshoot problems. However, the same tools are also widely used by cybercriminals to collect users’ sensitive data. Ultimately, cybercriminals use it for nefarious purposes such as black-market trade, identity theft, and more. Therefore, it is best to learn and understand more about Keylogger protection so you can keep your confidential data secure against cyber threats. Most importantly, you can deploy an additional security layer to secure yourself from cybercriminals by subscribing to PureVPN.
- What is a Keylogger & How it Works?
- Types of Keyloggers You Should Know About
- What Information Can the Keyloggers Steal?
- 7 Effective Ways You Can Protect Your Device against Keyloggers
What is a Keylogger & How it Works?
Before moving on to the protective measures, it is best to first know about Keyloggers.
Keyloggers come in various types such as API-based tool kits and hardware-based devices. But irrespective of the form, the purpose and functionality of the tools is almost the same. These malicious tools are used to monitor and record the keystrokes of a keyboard.
It includes every word or character the victim types or the buttons they press. Whatever the victim types on the keyboard, the keystrokes or resulting data is then sent to the attacker.
Keyloggers are one of the most silent cyber threats, yet the most dangerous ones. You can never know who might be keeping an eye on your every online activity.
The fact that Keyloggers are mostly the product or variation of malware is what makes them hazardous. After all, seasoned cybercriminals can build and modify malware for multiple purposes. Take for instance the MysteryBot malware, which is a powerful combination of ransomware, Trojan and a Keylogger.
Types of Keyloggers You Should Know About
As mentioned earlier, Keyloggers come in different forms, and it is imperative that you know about them to better protect your data.
- Hackers who have physical access to the victim’s device can use hardware-based Keyloggers to monitor and steal information. The hardware-based Keyloggers are available as mini-PCI cards, USB connectors and even as a built-in circuitry inside a keyboard.
- Keyloggers that are distributed via malicious rootkits or software and that can penetrate the system’s kernel source are called Kernel-based Keyloggers. This malicious type of software is fairly hard to detect since they are well-hidden inside the OS itself.
- One of the most common forms of Keyloggers is API based. These tools are used as a Keyboard API and, thus, used for capturing the keystrokes as typed by the victim.
- One of the most complex types of Keyloggers is Acoustic Keyloggers. The tool uses the acoustic cryptanalysis practices to log the keystroke of the victim’s keyboards.
What Information Can the Keyloggers Steal?
Depends on the nature and purpose of the Keylogger, the tool can be used to monitor and steal various types of users’ sensitive information. For starters, a hacker can use the tool to monitor the users’ browsing activities and log the users’ login credentials, including social media platforms, online bank account, etc.
The hacker can then use the data to blackmail the target, steal money from victim’s bank account, purchase stuff on victim’s credit card, or simply trade the credentials on the dark web in exchange for a huge sum.
7 Effective Ways You Can Protect Your Device against Keyloggers
Keyloggers are usually hard to detect. But you can consider the following Keylogger protection tips to detect, remove and prevent Keyloggers from stealing and abusing your data.
Use an Antivirus or Antimalware
Antiviruses or Antimalware act as a vanguard against various malicious tools that run rampant in cyberspace. Even if you don’t suspect any Keylogger or witness any malware symptoms on your device, you should use these security tools to prevent any future incident. Also, make sure that you keep the tool’s virus database up-to-date to fight off new and emerging threats.
Set up a Firewall
Firewalls are used to set policies against incoming and outgoing network traffic. As a result, Firewalls make a really efficient application against harmful tools like Keyloggers. Since the Keylogger needs the Internet to send the data to the attacker and the internet traffic passes through a Firewall, there’s a strong chance that the application would detect fishy traffic or request. You can either use Window’s built-in Firewall or set up a third-party application.
Keep the OS and Firmware Up-to-Date
Keep in mind that it is the security vulnerability in a system’s firmware or OS that leads to successful cyber attacks. In fact, hackers and other cybercriminals are always on the lookout for zero-day exploits for successful security breaches and, thus, data theft.
The only way you can prevent cyber attacks related to security exploits is by keeping the firmware or the OS of your device up-to-date. The manufacturer of a device’s firmware or the OS developer periodically rolls out security patches to help users and their devices be exploited.
Don’t Open Suspicious Emails or Links
If you have a Keylogger on your device, even after all the preventative measures, it means that the tool must have gotten through a suspicious email or link that you might have clicked. Never open or click unknown emails. You can never know the content of the email and the threats it entails. Therefore, it is best to ignore or delete emails that seem even slightly suspicious.
You can use anti-Keyloggers to detect every Keylogger in your system or device and remove it for good. You can find free to paid applications on the Internet. Make sure that you check out the reviews and use reliable applications.
One thing you need to keep in mind when using anti-Keyloggers is that these tools are built to eradicate every type of key-logging kit your device has, even legitimate kits used by the IT personnel for purposes mentioned above.
Change Passwords Periodically
Changing or modifying passwords every so often is one of the book’s oldest tricks. Needless to say, it is also one of the best Keylogger protection practices. However, it is imperative to make sure that your device doesn’t have any keylogger before changing passwords. Otherwise, you will be back to square one.
Use a Virtual Private Network
Surely, antimalware and anti-Keylogger can detect and remove the Keylogger. But, if you want to deploy an add-layer of security to prevent future confrontations with Keylogger and similar threats, it is recommended that you consider using a VPN, along with other preventative measures listed here.
PureVPN uses standard security protocols and military-grade encryption to encrypt users’ data. Once set up and deployed, users can enjoy secure communication and browse on any network they want, including public Wi-Fi hotspots that are fairly popular for exploiting and insecure.
Apart from protecting your device against unauthorized access, PureVPN also lets you spoof your location to enjoy online anonymity and accessibility, along with many other benefits.