4 Tips to Prevent and Protect Against Keyloggers

2160There is no shortage of hacking attempts out there today. With more and more people using computers and smartphones, hackers are coming up with different ways of stealing sensitive data and using some old tactics too! Continue reading to learn how to protect against keyloggers.

What is a keylogger?

A keylogger, short for keystroke logger, is a surveillance software or hardware that records every keystroke made by a user, usually without their knowledge. They first appeared in the 1970s when the Soviet Union developed and deployed a hardware keylogger to target typewriters. Today, there are several legitimate reasons why a keylogger may be used, such as parents monitoring their children’s online activity or employer’s monitoring company computers and their employees. Unfortunately, keyloggers are usually used for malicious purposes. Cybercriminals use keyloggers to access and steal personal information and passwords. One of the ways in which keyloggers are spread is through phishing attempts. When a user clicks or opens a fraudulent attachment, the software begins to infect the computer and steal your private data.

There are several ways to prevent and protect your information and your organization from malicious keyloggers. Here are four tips to stay proactive!

Prevention and Protection from Keyloggers       

  1. Help your employees spot phishing attacks

In one of our recent blogs, we looked at three ways you can help your employees be vigilant when faced with a potential phishing attack. By educating your employees you make sure they understand what and how phishing works. Being cyber aware is the first step! Hackers are evolving and coming up with different and creative ways to steal information. Prepare your employees so they are up to speed on the latest types of attacks. Don’t forget to remind them to also proceed with caution. Sometimes things can still slip through even when caution is used, and systems are in place.

  1. Use a password manager

Keyloggers can’t track what isn’t being typed but relying on the ‘remember password’ feature built into your browser may not be the best course of action against protecting your information. In Google Chrome, for example, all a hacker needs to do is access your password settings which display all saved passwords, and now they have access to everything! Instead, try an effective identity management & access control solution that encrypts your passwords and allows you to log in with a single click.

  1. Implement Multifactor Authentication

Multifactor Authentication strengthens and improves user logins by increasing security with multiple steps within the login process. MFA requires two of the three following identifiers: ‘something you know’ (username and password), ‘something you have’ (hardware, phone, computer), or ‘something that you are’ (biometrics). Although the password could be recorded with a keylogger, having MFA set up requires the hacker trying to access the account to have that same hardware or be you. Hackers using a keylogger cannot get passed this security measure because there is no keyboard to be tracked.

  1. Utilize software that helps to protect against phishing attacks

Third-party vendors can help thwart attacks with built-in software that alerts the user and administration of potential attacks with real-time cybersecurity screening. Having an automated system in place that blocks these attacks is the best defense and doesn’t fault on human error. PortalGuard has this capability. Contact PortalGuard today to learn more!

If you think you may have already been hacked by a keylogger stop typing your personal information and passwords until you have removed the software from your computer. If you cannot remove it right away, try using your onscreen keyboard (available in your computer settings under accessories – accessibility). Once you are able to remove the keylogger, think about changing your passwords! Use these 5 Best Practices for Changing your Passwords as a starting point.

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