Are You a Victim of This Computer Crime?

Know How to Protect Yourself from Computer Crimes and Keystroke Logging

You have to give cybercriminals credit. When it comes to computer crimes, they can be quite ingenious. Identity thieves are constantly developing new ways to steal your personal information or improving their methods. Such is the case with keystroke logging.

Fortunately for us, the good guys, and unfortunately for them, the bad guys, most of their attempts are detectable. That is, if you know what you're looking for. Here's help.

Understanding Keystroke Logging

Perry Kivolowitz, an American computer scientist, authored one of the first keylogger programs in 1983. Perry, a good guy, never intended his program for evil purposes and works today as a speaker on the subject of detecting tampering digital devices. But it goes to show, how technology in the wrong hands is often used for wrong purposes.

Keylogging is a computer cyber crime that means to track or log the keys you strike on your computer keyboard. Criminals do this covertly or in ways to avoid detection.

Why? A computer crime of this type happens for many purposes, most of which are not good. If a criminal is successful in attaching keylogging software or hardware to your computer, he can track everything you do.

This means when you log in to pay bills, pay credit cards, loan payments, make bank deposits or withdrawals, the thief is quietly collecting your personal information, usernames and passwords.

There are many different methods of keylogging, but the two main methods are software-based and hardware-base methods.

Software-based keyloggers - There are software programs designed specifically to work on your computer's operating system. Just as you download other programs to your computer to make it do specific things like word-processing or spreadsheets, keylogger software downloads and keeps track of everything you are typing into your computer.

Some software keyloggers operate remotely transmitting data from your computer to the thief's computer. Data can be transmitted using four different ways: uploaded with an FTP account, periodically emailed, wirelessly transmitted, or through your Ethernet cable.

Hardware-based keyloggers - These keyloggers don't depend on downloaded software. Instead, the thieves attach hardware to the cables coming into your computer. Unless you know what this piece of equipment looks like, you'll never know it there.

Preventing Keystroke Logging

Once you know what keystroke logging is, it isn't that hard to prevent. You can only be affected by software-based keylogging by downloading infected software. You can prevent this easily with a good anti-virus program and being careful about freeware you download.

You can detect hardware-based keylogging by checking the cables leading into your computer. Once you know what you're looking for, it's easy to spot.

Keystroke logging is preventable but don't let that lull you into a false sense of security. Identity theft is always on the rise. Stay ahead of identity theft and computer crime by staying educated on the latest methods used by criminals.

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