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How to Protect Yourself Against Keyloggers

September 23, 2020
EMAIL AND TECHNOLOGY

As the world continues to spend more time than ever at home, we’ve all grown accustomed to doing most of our business—work, school, and leisure—on our mobile devices and computers from the safety and comfort of our own homes. However, just because we’re using personal devices, it’s important to stay vigilant about security. Cybercriminals are increasingly using scams like phishing or keyloggers to steal sensitive information. While phishing is a common email-based solicitation for personal data, you may ask yourself, “What is a keylogger?” By becoming more familiar with this term and the threat it could pose, you’re one step closer to reclaiming your privacy and security.

 

What is a keylogger?

A keylogger is a software or hardware tool that captures keystrokes. While there are many types of keyloggers that function without malicious intent, such as parental controls or employee tracking tools, cybercriminals increasingly rely on keyloggers as a direct entry point to users’ personal devices. With a keylogger, criminals can see every keystroke you make, including passwords and credit card information. They can use this data to commit fraud or steal a user’s entire identity, resulting in widespread financial loss, not to mention a severe cost to your privacy.

 

How can I protect myself?

Now that you know what a keylogger is, it’s time to explore how to prioritize your security. Email security is a primary goal for those seeking to fend off a keylogger attack, as cybercriminals often rely on email to deliver the initial malware. With a private email account, users can rely on security measures to ensure they’re only communicating with those whom they intend to. Also, make sure you are protected with other security measures like firewalls and a virus scanner, invest in a password manager to generate and store secure passwords.

While keyloggers often function through software, there are also hardware-based keyloggers. For instance, USBs that are plugged into keyboards or devices inserted into credit card readers can have the ability to capture keystrokes for malicious purposes. Considering that, it’s important to avoid public computers and other non-secure devices, as well as rely on cash or other payment methods when making a financial transaction.

Keyloggers are among the many cybercrime strategies that can be hard to detect; yet, if online users practice consistent vigilance and proactivity, they can take important steps to protect their privacy.

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