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How To Identify A Keylogger

written by: Lashan Clarke•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 1/9/2012

A keylogger is a dangerous program that can infect your computer and record all your computer's keystrokes. If you suspect you may be infected, learn how to identify and remove a keylogger.

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    If there is a concern that a keylogger has lodged itself onto your system, the first step will be to identify it. If you do not know specifically which keylogger is installed, you can various software tools to identify which keylogger is installed.

    The easiest way to do this would be to run an anti-spyware scan. Many common anti-spyware programs can detect and remove keyloggers, if their code is not too complicated. Once you have been informed by your anti-spyware software that there is a keylogger, the software will provide information on how it can be removed.

    An alternative to using stand-alone software would be to do an online spyware scan. Some computer users feel this would be more accurate, and prefer an online scan for detecting spyware and infected files. It is encouraged to only visit a Web site of a popular company you are familiar with. There are some Web sites set up to perform online scans, and then falsely trick the users into spending money on buying their software, i.e. They report an infection when the computer is not infected.

    A third option in identifying a keylogger would be to use a program such as HijackThis, or open up Task Manager and view all the applications running on your computer. In Task Manager, you will be able to look for any unusual files that have recently been installed. HijackThis will also give you a log report of all the applications running on your system.

    When using Task Manager and HijackThis, it will be important to be aware of the normal application processes, and research any unusual ones. When a potential keylogger has been identified, doing a search on the Internet for information specific to that keylogger can help you to remove it.

    After the keylogger has been removed from your system, it will be necessary to reboot the hard drive to clear the computer’s memory of anything loaded into it. It is also recommended that you enable your anti-spyware program to “run on reboot." By doing so, it will be possible to scan your computer before all the programs are loaded.

A General Overview of Keyloggers

Overall, there seems to be an increase in the amount of people trying to steal personal information from computer users, and keyloggers are one of the ways hackers are trying to attempt this.
  1. What Are Keyloggers?
  2. The File Types Associated With Keyloggers
  3. How To Identify A Keylogger
  4. Protection From Keyloggers