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Can a Keylogger be Detected on Your Device? Let's Find Out

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The world of technology has evolved. So has cyber threats. If you’re spending a lot of time on the internet, you are more likely to come across an online threat one way or the other. These online threats are as real as real can be. You may not know about them but you can be their target on the internet.

People use keylogging programs to spy on someone’s keystrokes. A keylogger program is used to log all the keystrokes pressed by the target person on their device, whether a computer or mobile phone. All the logged keystrokes are gathered in a file and then shared it with the user.

However, the burning question here is, can a keylogger be detected by the target person on their device? Can they find out that someone is trying to record all the keystrokes that they press on their device? In this post, we are going to explain to you everything about the keylogger and its detection.

What is Keylogger?

A keylogger program is a specially designed software that lets a user record and capture all the keystrokes pressed by someone on their device. The keylogger program logs the keystrokes, converts the logged data in readable form and then shares with the user in a presentable way.

All the keystrokes pressed by someone on their computer or mobile phone will be recorded and then shared with the user who is trying to log and capture the target person’s keystrokes. The target person will type the confidential data onto their keyboard, believing that nobody is watching them, but the keylogging software will be logging everything that they type.

Are Keyloggers Illegal?

When you read the definition of the keylogger, you may come to believe that this software is used for illegal purposes. However, that’s not the case. The keylogging software can be used for both legitimate and illegitimate reasons.

Keyloggers can be used for legitimate and useful purposes. For instance, the keylogger software is often utilized by the IT departments in a company to troubleshoot issues and systems. This kind of software can also be used by employers to keep an eye on employee activities during working hours.

On a personal level, parents can use the keylogging apps to keep an eye on their kids and see what they have been up to on their computers, laptops, and mobile phones. Apart from that, there are several other legal uses of a keylogger program.

Now, let’s talk about when a keylogger becomes a threat to someone. If the keylogger software is used for malicious intent, it becomes a threat to the user. If you install the keylogger software on your own device then it is legal. However, if it is installed behind someone’s back to steal the sensitive data from their device, the use becomes illegal.

The use of the keylogger software becomes illegal when you install it on someone’s device to gain access to their personal data. For example, if you want to gain access to someone’s credit card number or other banking information, you can install the keylogger on their device and steal their data.

Mostly, keylogging programs are used to steal someone’s sensitive data from their devices. You might have seen the illegal use of the keylogger programs in Hollywood fiction movies such as Mission Impossible and the popular hacker show, Mr. Robot.

Can a Keylogger Be Detected?

Now, the important question is, can a keylogger be detected on the device? For instance, if you have installed the keylogger on your employee’s computer, is it possible for them to detect the software? Well, the answer is, yes.

Here are a few methods a clever employer can use to detect the keylogger on their device, especially a computer/PC.

Method 1: Task Manager

With the help of the Task Manager, the employee can detect the keylogger program on their PC. In the Task Manager, you can see all the active applications on the PC. If the keylogger software is running actively on the PC, you can find it in the Task Manager.

Here’s how you can detect the keylogger in the Task Manager:

  • Press Ctrl+Alt+Del
  • As soon as the Task Manager opens, you need to press the Process tab
  • Here you need to look for any malicious file, especially the one that has a suspicious description
  • Open that file and end the process
  • By doing this, the keylogger will stop running on the PC. This will prevent the keylogger from capturing and recording more keystrokes and transporting the logged data to the employer.

Method 2: Programs and Features

Employees can also go through the list of applications installed on their PC in the Programs and Features section. They can detect if any keylogger program is installed on their PC. Here’s how they can do it:

  • Open Start menu
  • Head over to Control Panel
  • Open Programs and Features
  • See if you can find any malicious program that you haven’t installed on your PC
  • Right-click the program if you have found one and then remove it
  • This will remove the keylogger from your device

Method 3 - Full Malware Scan

There is another way to detect the keylogger and that is running a full malware scan on your PC. The antimalware or antivirus software will help you scan the entire hard drive folders to locate any malicious software hiding in your PC. Here’s how you can run a full malware scan on your PC:

  • First of all, you need to opt for a reliable antimalware software
  • Download the software and have it installed on your PC
  • As soon as it is installed, click on the scan that you can see on the user interface
  • Now, the antimalware software will begin the full malware scan process
  • Once the malware scanning process is completed, you need to click on remove and exit
  • The keylogger will now be removed from your PC.

This is how an employee can detect the keylogger program on their PC. Normally, employees are not allowed to remove the keylogging program from their computer because employers have the right to monitor their computer activity.

However, if the employer continues to monitor their personal activity during off-hours, then employees can go ahead and remove the keylogger program from their PC as explained in the methods above. A keylogger Android can also be removed from the smartphone by following the same methods as discussed above.  

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