Malicious software has been on the minds of most knowledgeable computer users recently for many reasons. You can’t help but read about Keylogger and Spy Software when you open up a computer magazine or read an online tech manual. While more users understand the threats these software components pose many do not understand what their basic functions are. Let’s spend a few minutes reviewing these items to bring new users up to speed and remind experienced users of what they are facing.
A Keylogger is the most common form of Spy Software used on the internet for collecting information. It was originally developed for benign purposes but it was commandeered for identity theft and other crimes. It’s important to remember that software of this type only has one function once activated. This function is to monitor all keystrokes from your keyboard and report back to a specified source.
This software is not malicious in that it does not infect your computer with destructive coding and makes very few if any changes to your system. The developers want it to stay unnoticed for as long as possible. This means that it is developed and programmed to use as few system resources as possible thereby minimizing the chance of a user noticing it.
However not all instances of a Keylogger are bad ones. While Spy Software has the capability to do a lot of damage with nasty side effects it can also be used to do a lot of good. Companies, homes, and other entities may need to keep an eye on whose using their computers and for what purpose. While not a full computer monitoring suite programs of this type can be used to effectively monitor keystroke activity.
The recording capacity of a Keylogger is limited to the systems keyboard. Mouse clicks are not recorded meaning that for the Spy Software to work properly a person must use the keyboard to enter information. Clicking on bookmarked sites or deleting files will not be recorded unless you use another form of monitoring software. The dangers and the benefits of this type of program can be outlined in two categories quite easily.
Companies make use of it to monitor their employees and prevent industrial, corporate, or financial sabotage. Small businesses use it to monitor if their employees are using company computers for unauthorized personal recreation. Finally parents and families can use it to monitor their children’s web usage or keep tabs on computer usage in general. This last item in particular is something that many parents have done in recent years with the internet being so easy to access.
On the downside it can be used easily to gain a persons personal information once installed on a machine. While recent advances in protection software have been made it is still a very real threat to careless and unprepared users. Any information entered from your social security number to your bank account password can be logged and sent to another party without your knowledge.
The uses for Keylogger Spy Software are many both good and bad. However its practical uses far outweigh the damage that it can inflict which is why the software type has not been outlawed. Like it or hate it the software type is going to be around for a long time to come both as a malicious software infection and as a legitimate tool to monitor internet usage.