Keyloggers and any other types of surveillance software may infringe your privacy.
a brief summary: what, who, and how

A keylogger is a computer program or hardware device that has the ability to record your keystrokes. It can record anything that you type, including your passwords, emails, credit card number, personal information, etc. Most keyloggers are invisible, so you won't know if they are running on your system. They save the recorded keystrokes into a log file.

There are two types of key logger: hardware key logger and software key logger. Hardware keylogger is a hardware device that records all keys you press on the keyboard. No software can detect this kind of keylogger. Software keylogger is a software that is able to record your typing. Some can even record the visited websites, both sides of chat conversation (AIM, MSN Messenger, mIRC, etc.), and actual snapshot of the desktop. If you can see it, the keylogger (or surveillance program) can record it.

Keylogger is very common nowadays. It should be used to backup your typing (in case there's a power outage), monitor employee's activity, or watch your computer while you are away. Unfortunately some people abuse the program. They steal others' passwords, spy the email/chat conversation of other people without their consent, or even use it to steal sensistive data, e.g. credit card number and SSN.

Anyone with adequate computer knowledge can install a keylogger on your computer without your knowing that your activity is being watched from that day on. A good keylogger leaves no trace after it's installed; you won't even notice that it's there! No apparent change is noticeable in system performance. Everything looks normal. And before you know it, your account password has been changed and someone else is making a purchase with your credit card data!

Friends. Colleagues. Boss. Parents. Children. Husband. Wife. Boyfriend. Girlfriend. System administrator. They all have their own motives for using a keylogger to monitor someone's activity. And that 'someone' might be you.

How can someone install a keylogger on your computer? This is extremely easy if the person has unsupervised access to your computer. But in case you are the only person who use the computer, and your computer is connected to the Internet, the installation can be done remotely. Fortunately most keyloggers don't have this feature, at least until now. Once the keylogger is installed, your activity will be monitored (and be reported to someone) until the keylogger is removed from your system.

How can you protect your privacy? More specifically, how can you know if such program has been installed on your computer? There are some programs tailored to this purpose. Most are commercials. I'm not talking about spyware remover; I'm talking about keylogger remover. However, if you are in low-budget, you can try a freeware I've created: KL-Detector. It detects keylogger on your system and will tell you the location of the log file.

However, even with the aid of the so-called 'privacy protection software', you are not 100% safe. You are always vulnerable to data thieves. The thief will always find a new method to steal your information. They may make a bogus call or fake email or bogus start page or ..... the list goes on and on. Even a whole book cannot give you enough understanding to protect your privacy. But you will learn from your experience.

The author of this page is Yohanes Aristianto. Feel free to link to this page.
If you want to discuss something or have a question, please send your email to privacy@dewasoft.com.


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