What is a keylogger?

A keylogger is a piece of software that records a user’s keystrokes on a keyboard. Sometimes this is used for technical support, but other times it is used maliciously, without the knowledge of the user, to collect passwords and other personal data.

How does a keylogger work?

Keylogging is also known as keystroke logging or keyboard capturing. Most keyloggers are software based, meaning they run as covert applications on the target computer’s operating system. Some, however, are hardware-based, such as a circuit that’s attached between the keyboard and the USB input. A few are even firmware-based, installed into a computer’s BIOS.

Malicious software keyloggers are often distributed as trojans or as part of viruses. An up-to-date antivirus should be enough to prevent the vast majority of keyloggers from infecting a system.

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