Signs, Risks, and Prevention of Keylogger Infection

Signs, Risks, and Prevention of Keylogger Infection

A keylogger is an insidious monitoring software that hackers use to track and record all the user’s keystrokes to gain access to sensitive data. Hackers can intercept passwords, security answers, emails, and messages using keyloggers.

Keyloggers are generally Trojan infections. They generally come through legitimate downloads or software and are processed in the background once they enter the system. They efficiently hide themselves from the system’s antivirus programs using rootkit elements.

Here are a few signs, risks, and prevention methods to avoid keyloggers

Signs of Keylogger Infection

  • Slow Response Time

In addition to stealing data, keyloggers also block bandwidth. A sudden slow response in the system’s online performance or website response time signifies a keylogger-infected system.

  • Issues with Antivirus Software

Some keyloggers hinder the working of antivirus programs, which allows them to bypass the detection system. If antivirus software faces issues, there are chances of a keylogger infection.

  • New Icons in the System

If the user has not installed new software yet new icons are sitting on the desktop, it is a sign that keyloggers might infect a system.

  • Decreasing Storage Space

Keylogger software tends to occupy space on the system; hence, a user must monitor the storage space and perhaps conduct a complete scan if they suspect an issue.

Risks of Keylogger Infection

  • Account Confiscation

Keyloggers track everything a user types, like passwords and credentials. It allows attackers to gain access to the compromised accounts. Account confiscation enables hackers to pose as the user to sabotage the user’s reputation.

  • Financial Loss

With keyword logging, hackers can access users’ bank account details, leading to financial losses. Since keyloggers are difficult to detect, attacks can occur without the user realizing it. Hence, the attacker could have siphoned the money into numerous accounts before users understood what was happening. The banks cannot reverse the transfer.

  • Reputational Damage and Fine

With access to company accounts, hackers can cause large-scale data breaches. These breaches attract regulatory attention and significantly increase the risk of reputational damage and fines.

  • Cyberstalking

Keystroke tracking allows attackers to target specific users with tailored attacks. Logging their keystrokes will enable hackers to determine the users’ location at a given time. Some keyloggers also initiate webcam hijacking and monitor the users’ cameras remotely without them knowing.

Prevention of Keylogger Infection

  • System Updates

One of the ways to prevent keyloggers is to update the operating systems regularly. It is because keyloggers take advantage of the vulnerabilities caused by outdated software and obtain unauthorized access to the devices.

Developers regularly issue security patches to reduce critical software vulnerabilities; businesses must not skip updates. This will help to protect them from potential data theft and loss.

  • Deploy a Password Manager

Businesses must remember that keyloggers cannot log what the user does not type. Hence, companies must use tools that auto-fill the forms to hide passwords and personal information. More importantly, businesses must understand that “remember password” on the browser is not as same as the auto-fill tools. Hence, letting the browser remember the credentials leaves the information at risk.

Installing a third-party application manager with an auto-fill functionality restricts the keyloggers from recording credentials and other sensitive information. Businesses must remember that a keylogger-infected system efficiently tracks everything a user types, like the password, even while setting up a third-party password manager.

  • Assemble a Firewall

The keylogger readily transmits all stored data back to the cyber-attacker, which they use to steal sensitive data. It occurs when the keylogger sends the data from the user’s computer via the Internet.

Hence, businesses must have a firewall that will alert them when questionable activities occur via the Internet. Though there are chances that the firewall would not detect an issue, if it does, it will save businesses from getting their data stolen.

  • Install Antivirus Software

Software-based keyloggers hide in downloadable files. Hence, businesses must use a reliable antivirus program to protect themselves against insidious cyber-attacks from the web.

Antivirus programs can detect and fight threats efficiently. However, there are likely the chances that malware might go undetected due to a lack of efficiency in the software design.

Nevertheless, installing a reliable antivirus is crucial to preventing keylogging attacks.

  • Change the Passwords Regularly

Another way to reduce the harm of possible keylogging is to change the passwords regularly. It is a good data security practice rendering the stolen data information by a keylogger useless.

Keystroke readily logs the newly set up password; however, it is unlikely that the hackers will utilize the tracked data immediately. Therefore, if users change their password regularly, the stolen data will no longer benefit the hackers in executing an attack.

  • Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

MFAs aim to strengthen and improve user logins. Its implementation adds multiple steps within the login process, enhancing security and making it challenging for cyber-attackers to access user accounts.

  • Utilize an Onscreen Keyboard

Businesses must encourage employees to utilize an onscreen keyboard for inputting sensitive credentials. Therefore, the hackers cannot recognize the sensitive information even if the system has a keylogger infection.

Also Read: Managing Threats is Key for Speedy Digital Businesses Transformations


Keyloggers invade privacy and cause immense reputational damage and financial loss. Businesses must understand the signs and risks and employ the above robust methods to ensure online safety.

They must stay hyper-vigilant about how the systems are operating and pick up any suspicious changes. Companies must regularly encourage employees to use security software to scan their system computers for threats.

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Apoorva Kasam is a Global News Correspondent with OnDot Media. She has done her master's in Bioinformatics and has 18 months of experience in clinical and preclinical data management. She is a content-writing enthusiast, and this is her first stint writing articles on business technology. She specializes in data privacy, cloud security, endpoint security,and security compliance,Her ideal and digestible writing style displays the current trends, efficiencies, challenges, and relevant mitigation strategies businesses can look forward to. She is looking forward to exploring more technology insights in-depth.