Wednesday, June 25, 2008

When It Pays To Be Paranoid: How To Avoid Keyloggers From Being Installed In Your Computer

Sometimes, real life is better than computer life. In the real world, you can refuse to pick up a hitchhiker. With computers, it's another story. Malicious software and spyware have an uncanny ability to hitch a ride on your computers without your consent. Here's how to avoid these keyloggers from being installed:

Use A Program To Fight A Program.

You can avoid getting keyloggers installed on your computer by installing anti-keylogger software. These are software that can effectively detect, locate and remove keyloggers once they are installed. Some anti-keylogger software can even provide you with certain information about the keylogger, such as the date it was installed on your computer. In case of future encounters with keyloggers, these programs will also prevent any infiltration.

Most computer experts recommend that you use more than one anti-spyware programs. Use at least two to man the gates, so to speak and another two to help you scan for invaders later.

Give It The Boot.

Sometimes you will have to manually uninstall a spyware program. Often, it will try to bargain with you and persuade you not to delete it, showing a message saying that it's not a threat or a danger and that you will no longer enjoy its benefits. Don't be intimidated. Delete it immediately because it will drag your computer down and threaten your security and privacy.

Some keyloggers, especially commercial types, can operate using stealth mode. If you want to bring them out of hiding, learn their keystroke sequence. These are keys you'll need to press simultaneously to reveal the keylogger. Pressing Crtl-Alt-X, for example, will summon XPCSpy. Go to the PestPatrol webpage to see other keystroke sequences of most keyloggers.

Protect And Complain.

Use the log-on restriction on your operating system to keep others from installing keyloggers. Allow access only through a password. If you can't uninstall the program, try asking the manufacturer (if commercial) to help you. Some manufacturers will allow this, especially if the keylogger was installed on your computer without your permission.

Ask your spouse, parent, significant other, etc. not to install a keylogger on your computer.
Yes, a keylogger program can be easily and legally installed. Parents, employers and spouses can do that to you. If you don't want it and have a legitimate reason to have it uninstalled (like your right to privacy), keep that keylogger away from your computer.

Being vigilant and a little paranoid can go a long way to avoid keyloggers from being installed in your computer. Remember that with computers, forewarned is always forearmed.

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