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Keyloggers: The Controversy, and the Cost-Friendly Options

written by: Austin•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 6/19/2011

Keyloggers are rapidly becoming the center of a very large controversy involving people's relationships with their loved ones. Some people say it's an invasion of privacy, some people say it has very useful elements; either way, they're here, and they're available. Here's a rundown on everything.

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    Keyloggers and You: Mac Edition

    If you've never heard of a keylogger before, the idea behind them is fairly simple: It logs all of the key presses made on your computer without alerting the person doing the key pressing so that whoever purchased the keylogger for OS X can view things you've been typing, passwords you've used, and other things relating to your computer. Why? Because people have trust issues or something.

    Anyway, the point is that a lot of people really don't like keyloggers, yet many people think they have a vast array of uses. Here are the two sides of the argument...

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    Pro-Keyloggers: Helps Keeps Us Safe

    If you're a parent of a child, you probably have concerns about their personal life. I mean, come on, who doesn't? As they progress into their teenage years, they begin to make dumber and dumber choices because peer pressure rules all when it comes to high school, so really a lot of people would say you have reason to worry.

    Now, before the invention of the Internet, teens were bad enough with their riled up hormones and rule breaking. After the invention of the Internet? Things got taken to a whole new level. Teens can now plan events and things that could harm them without their parents even knowing, which is, to say the least, very bad news. Combine that with all of the racy things that go on between teens and their friends online, and only a fool wouldn't want to make sure their kid wasn't getting into all of that potential trouble. This is where keyloggers help us out. They make sure we can spy on our child's love life to keep them safe and out of harm's way so they can grow up to be big and strong.

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    Anti-Key Loggers - You're Invading Our Privacy

    Have you ever heard of the Constitution? The thing that allows us to do what we want without having to worry about people butting into our stuff and stealing our personal information? Yea, it called and it wants to know why you're using a program to secretly spy on me. Not only does that say a lot about how much you trust me, it also says a lot about the kind of person you are. Maybe you should try talking to me before implanting programs into my computer to secretly watch over me like some kind of dictator. Sounds like an invasion of privacy to me, so I never want someone to use a keylogger on me.

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    Ultimately It's Up To You

    So at the end of the day, after you know both sides of the argument, it becomes you choice whether you want to buy a keylogger and use it, or stray away from that sort of activity. If you do choose to buy one and use it for good, here are the best keyloggers for OS X, but they aren't free.

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    'Keylogger' for Mac

    refogmac 

    The first and most comprehensive app on this list is aptly named "Keylogger for Mac", and the name pretty much says it all. It's a keylogger for Mac that runs idly while your kids/friends/family/loved ones use the computer, and there's always a little icon up in the top bar to remind them: They are being watched, so don't try anything stupid. In a lot of cases, people find that they don't even need to check their keylogger, because the mere presence of the logo is enough to deter people from doing anything they wouldn't want you to know about.

    That being said, sometimes having an icon visible isn't such a good thing. Why? For the same reason that it's a good thing: It deters people from doing things they wouldn't want you to know about. If you want to catch someone in the act, perhaps this isn't the best app for you.

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    Aobo Mac Keylogger

    mac-keylogger-box 

    Yet another software keylogger that fills in the gaps that 'Keylogger for Mac' doesn't cover is Aobo's Mac Keylogger, an application that allows you to track everything that goes on on your computer without the user knowing it's even happening. You can catch people in the act of doing something ridiculous, then use the evidence to better your relationship with them or fix a longstanding problem. It's incredibly versatile and probably the overall best app on this list, but there is a catch. A one hundred and fifty dollar catch, to be exact, which is a bit much considering what you're getting.

    Still with lifetime support and an easy to use interface, you really do get what you pay for.

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    KeyGhost

    KeyGhost-USB-512KB-Plugs 

    KeyGhost is on this list for a few reasons, but one of the biggest ones is that it's the only one of these keyloggers that's actually a hardware keylogger. What that means is that you have a physical device that you plug into the back of your keyboard, hidden from view, and it records all of the keystrokes onto a flash-drive-like device for viewing later. This is a more original approach, but also a more expensive one. It clocks in at $200, but don't make your decision quite yet, because it sports a few other great features.

    Because it's a physical device and not a program, you can use it on any computer- Mac or PC- without having to buy another device. You can even record the keystrokes of one computer, bring the KeyGhost to another computer, and then view them there. This makes KeyGhost, in my opinion, the best Keylogger for Mac OS X, free or not.

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    References

    All images and information are taken from product pages and from author knowledge.

    Purchase Links/Product Pages

    Keylogger for Mac

    Aobo Keylogger

    KeyGhost