One of the lesser-known threats to your personal information online is a form of malware known as a keylogger. Keyloggers reside on your system without causing any perceptible changes in functionality – lurking in the background and storing your keystrokes. Occasionally these keystrokes are transmitted to an unauthorized user, probably in a country with a name you can’t spell, where someone searches through it for entries that look like passwords, personal information, or credit card numbers. Because of the way they work, after a keylogger is on your system neither your native antivirus software nor the security measures employed by the websites you visit will prevent it from capturing and transmitting what you type.
Most are also very difficult to detect and
effective at avoiding removal by antivirus software. One way to try to guess whether a keylogger might be running is to check your CPU usage. (steps available at http://webvaccine.com/ad-ons-tool-bars-agents-and-program-adjuncts/ ) For more information see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystroke_logging.
But there are steps you can take to try to protect yourself from Keyloggers and other malicious viruses. All computers are equipped with an on-screen keyboard. Your mouse clicks are generic in the language of the keylogger, meaning that there is no way for it to know what you’re clicking. In fact, one of the reasons keyloggers don’t succeed in stealing your information more often is that the “country of residence,” “Date of Birth,” and “Expiration Date” fields in online forms are drop-down menus,
selected with mouse clicks. This makes it more difficult for keyloggers to collect all of the information they might need to begin using your credit card. By using the on-screen keyboard, you can enter all of the information in an on-line form using mouse clicks – or at least your password and credit card number. To access the on-screen keyboard on most PCs running windows 7, including the Sony Vaio VPCEB series, Toshiba Satellite L755 series, or the ASUS A53SV series, click Start > All Programs > Accessories > Ease of Access > On-Screen Keyboard .