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Every Tap You Take

It is possible to record everything you type on your keyboard. Do you know how?

Keystroke logging, often referred to as keylogging or keyboard capturing, is the action of recording (logging) the keys struck on a keyboard. Often this is covert so that a person using the keyboard is unaware that their actions are being monitored. Your data can then be retrieved by the person operating the keylogging programme. The use of keyloggers can be legal, for example, such as software installed by the IT department on your work computer.

However, if a hacker installs keylogger software on your computer they will be able to obtain extensive personal information from you. One of the most publicised keylogging hacks recently was the theft of over $1million from client accounts at the major Scandinavian banki. It is important to know about their existence and how to check and prevent.

How to identify keylogger software on your computer?

Windows based PCs: Open the task manager from a simple right-click in the Taskbar. Go to the background processes and navigate to a “Windows logon application.” If it has a duplicate entry which sounds unusual, such as “Windows logon (1),” it means someone else is logged on to your Windows system. That’s the first sign of a potential keylogger. Right-click and end the program. Also, check under the “Startup” tab. If there are any suspicious-looking programs in the boot menu, disable them.ii

Mac based PCs: Activity Monitor contains a list of real-time events occurring on your Mac. Click the Finder icon in the Dock, select the “Go” menu and choose “Utilities”. Double-click “Activity Monitor”. Click the “Process” column label to sort your activity by processes. If you spot any unusual process, check it using Terminal. You can open Terminal from Utilities and type ‘man’ followed by a space and the process name, e.g. “man sysmond”.iii

If you find a keylogger on your work computer, stop using it and notify IT immediately.

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References i ii iii

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Specialisterne Case Study. CyberQuest ( is a Skills Connect programme funded by IT@Cork Skillnet. Its Mission is to educate and reskill unemployed people and those impacted by Covid

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