How to protect your device from Keyloggers

Getting to the ‘root’, what is a keylogger? Well it’s a program or device which records all keystrokes, which could be used overtly for surveillance or covertly for spyingEither way someone is watching!

Protect from KeyloggersIn today’s society with the advent of technology in all its guises, the ‘keylogger’ is a direct intrusion to all concerned when we use our computers, smartphones or any smart device connected to the Internet.

It’s the scourge of working over the Internet, concealed deviously,  yet sophisticated in its execution. Working unseeingly in the background it compiles all your keystrokes and despatches this data to a server unknown to you for the next stage of its mission. And to protect computer from keyloggers, you need to do some solid countermeasures.

Now don’t be misled; as I gestured above, the keylogger doesn’t just focus on computers, it’s interested in any device, where ‘you’ the user interacts with a key board (now think lateral here).  So your phone (for example) is also susceptible, there no delineation here, all is fair game! There might be an Android keylogger monitoring keystrokes of your cellphone in the wild, and same goes for iOS and others.

Onwards and upwards …

Probably the most proactive entity here is you, the ‘user’.  Implementing self discipline is a key factor, after all it’s what you do will either protect you or hang you, so what do you want!

The referenced links do have commonality, so in overcoming this threat isn’t rocket science.  What is important to you, your banking details, photos of loved ones or booking your next holiday? Only you know the answer.

You want to avoid dangerous Keyloggers, well that said any keylogger is dangerous, so the key here is to protect yourself and protect all devices from keyloggers’ spying.

Tools in your armoury …..

Ensure you use:

A Firewall and a free one that I can recommend is Zone alarm.  This will:

  • Stop internet thieves at the front door when leaving, but it makes you invisible to hackers;
  • Any threat traffic is killed whether inbound or outbound;
  • It’s stealthy and will kill any malicious programs;
  • With wireless PC protection protects; you should you connect to an insecure network;
  • With Automatic Network Security applies the most firewall protection; and
  • Using Defence.NetTM provides real time security updates.

90 million people globally can’t be wrong!

Comodo firewall, why it’s:

  • Free, fast and hastle free,
  • Attacks from the internet are blocked
  • Enjoy secure connection when online
  • It will manage traffic on your computer
  • Proactively monitors connections

Ultimately it’s your computer policeman 24 x 7.  With more than 85 million users in over 100 countries, protecting more than 600,00 businesses globally!

Use a Password Manager, which must store passwords securely, include a browser for ease of use, have proof of concept and most importantly, be free.  On top of using a password manager, always create strong passwords. Without further ado, try these:

Clipperz which is an online vault where you and your data are oblivious. Everything is locally encrypted in your browser, but the encryption key is ‘paraphrased’ and only you know the key.  It stores passwords and other confidential data, it’s anonymous and      transparent, all the entities you need.

Keepass or KeepassX with the latter for Linux or Mac OS.  The need to remember and manage a multitude of passwords becomes unmanageable. but with this free tool, you only have to remember one, which puts you in control.

LastPass is another free tool, which is simple and fast with effortless browsing, which is just what you need in today’s society. With hassle-free login you can centralise your data and streamline online shopping, by just remembering one password.

Software

Here I’ve predominantly focused on free tools, after all were not all rolling in money!  That said, it doesn’t mean to say that tools could equally be purchased, subject to your budget.  So without further ado, here you have them in attempt to protect against keyloggers:

Key scrambler, encrypt your key strokes by using Key scrambler. The product offers:

  • A key technology using state-of-the-art to encrypt algorithms;
  • A proven fact in real time encryption, with keys hard to break; and
  • An empowerment so you know when it’s active.

Using a key scrambler software helps a great deal to protect device from keyloggers, and as for this tool over a million people globally use this product. So, something must be right!

Zemana anti logger, this product is an anti logger, private and financial data is protected with this product. What this product enables is:

  • Up to date protection;
  • Key logging protection;
  • SSL intrusion prevention and
  • Antivirus compatibility.

Over 50,000 users have upgraded to Premium, giving you even more functionality.

Anti exploit, so Stop the exploitation!  A popular program which wraps four layers of security around browsers.  The specialized shield is good for Microsoft IE, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and more.

Sandboxie, here there is a cost, of $34.95 for a Lifetime license for 1 computer. It will provide the following:

  • Secures your favorite web browser from threats, protecting your data;
  • Key for email and ‘Phishing’ attacks;
  • Protect your personal data, so good got data protection; and
  • Good for application testing Supports Win 7 – 10, 32 & 64 bit versions, browsers such as Firefox, Cyber Fox, Opera & more

Antivirus and other accompanying tools are a contentious subject, so I’ve looked at the main players. With the exception of AVG whose basic product is free, I consider my personal data and that of my family are more than worth just over a £1 a day, but it’s your call:

Norton – As we know Norton is an antivirus product, but they will:

  • Malware protection through their SONAR 4 engine;
  • Addressing multimedia attacks, uses enhanced intrusion protection;
  • Exploits on IE and Firefox can install spyware, Norton counter this;
  • Provides Antibot protection, protecting your PC; and
  • A repair tool for system recoveries.

Kaspersky  – Protection that has many strands, and to name but some:

  • Child protection;
  • Rigorous protection technologies;
  • Privacy and identity protection;
  • Protection for passwords and more;
  • Multiple devices and even more …

Trend AV  – Very versatile with offerings such as:

  • Protects children;
  • Manages and encrypts passwords;
  • Block dangerous websites;
  • Ransomware protection;
  • Identifies data stealing apps and many more …

Trend house call will make a ‘Free’ house call to scan your computer to identify problems that exist on your computer.  This is a highly recommended process that’s worth doing on a regular basis.

MacAfee – Just as equaled with its competitors and will:

  • Checks your devices for antivirus including spyware;
  • Password manager using true key;
  • Guard when on social media;
  • Encrypts documents suing File Lock;
  • Protects email from spam and many more …

AVG – Even the free version, it offers:

  • Guards you from virus and spyware;
  • Covers mobile protection;
  • Protection when on social media;
  • Highlight mail threats;
  • All devices from one screen

Antispyware  Check out these:

Why should your privacy be intruded on!

Online scanning Consider researching:

It’s your data and it’s your choice and no doubt you’d find a lot more!

Anti exploits tool – Malwarebytes, divers tool which will:

  • Detects threats on demand;
  • Real time detection;
  • Removal of advanced malware;
  • It’s portable and agent less;
  • Deployment has 3 methods

There is a cost, but you only get what you pay for!

Let’s recap so far …

A lot of information has been covered here, and it’s timely to reflect on what we need to do, so in order:

  1. Use good antivirus;
  2. Use firewall, remember Zone Alarm and Comodo;
  3. Use antispyware;
  4. Use antilogger;
  5. Encrypting keystrokes with ‘Keyscrambler’;
  6. Use a password manager; and
  7. Using anti-exploits tool.

Don’t be lazy, security is a puzzle game and a number of things come in to complete it. And in case of protection from keyloggers you’ve all the pieces with you to merge together. These tools are there, some free and other you need to pay for. It’s your data, ultimately you need to protect yourself from the bad boys out there, the ‘Cyber criminals’.

It’s your decision, so how does your ‘Risk’ management line up with this subject.  Are you risk averse? Or is your risk management in line with the threats.

Best practice

These are all part of the continuum of cyber threats, they are a discipline as security is 24 x 7 in today’s modern world, so:

  • Keep software up to date;
  • Change and update passwords on a regular basis;
  • Say no to freeware or pirated software;
  • Change your browser, let’s say start using Firefox;
  • Explore the use of ‘Limited user mode’;
  • Back-up your software regularly;
  • Consider using an encrypted external RHD;
  • Use 2FA in order to protect yourself;
  • Keep devices secure;
  • Don’t lend your devices for others to use …..

And so these will change, as we will change!

Conclusion

I trust you will take heed to the contents of this article to avoid keyloggers, it’s for your sake.  The threat will always be with us, and no doubt it will change just like the ‘Chameleon’.

However, a critical factor here is coming back to the ‘keylogger’. Who introduces the threat, why it’s you. Whether arrogance, ambivalence or just plain ignorance. After all, you just can’t resist the temptation to click on that link, can you!  And how can this be summed up, ‘A lack of discipline’, because like it or not in today’s world, with all the threats, you have to be ‘Disciplined’.

Be careful out there, and just say ‘No‘ to ‘Keyloggers‘.

Top/Featured Image: By Robbert van der Steeg / Flickr

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How to protect your device from Keyloggers

by Howard Smith time to read: 6 min
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