Keystroke loggers

Key loggers are programs which record every key typed on a computer. This information is then sent back to the person who installed it. They can be installed by anyone who has access to a computer or can be included in "harmless" programs like e-greeting cards.

If you use internet banking a key logger can record your bank account password - which is then used to remove all your money from your accounts!

How do you know if you have a key stroke logger on your computer?

You don't always know. Make sure you have the latest virus detection software (check that your anti-virus software looks for spyware).

Whenever you use a computer in an internet cafe or public library it may contain a key logger.

How to fool key loggers

The main weakness of keystroke logging software is that they do not capture mouse actions. When typing in your username or password enter some extra characters - then delete them using the mouse.

For example:

If your password is anger

  • Type in dangerously then
  • Highlight with your mouse the first letter d and delete it using the Delete key
  • Then highlight the last five letters ously and delete them.

When you click Enter/OK/Logon the password that is sent to your bank will be anger.

The key logger would register: dangerously{BackSpace}{BackSpace} because it does not track your mouse movements.

How you can avoid getting a key stroke logger

  • Keep your operating system up to date.
  • Be careful with file sharing programs - if not configured correctly others may have access to all your files.
  • Increase the privacy level on your browser to not accept cookies from untrusted sites.
  • Never click on a web link in an email - they may not take you to the site they say they are.
  • Use a unique password for internet banking that is different from all your other passwords.
  • Follow our example above for getting around key stroke loggers.
  • Use spyware detection software.
  • Set your web browser to not save passwords (and deleted ones that may have already been stored).

SUPPORT: For assistance and counselling services please go to ScamNet - Help for Victims. If you need to speak to someone urgently, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.