"Key logging" is a way for hackers to get information from your computer. A hacker can install software or a physical device onto your computer. Both enable a hacker to track everything you type on your keyboard. This includes passwords, e-mail, Web sites visited, credit card information - anything you type.
How did I get it?
Key logging software can be installed onto your computer in many ways. You can inadvertently download them from the Internet via a Web site. They can be installed as spyware on your system when you install another program. Some viruses deposit a key logging program onto your system. If someone had access to your computer they could also install a software program that would monitor your keystrokes.
Installation of physical key logging devices require access to your computer. A device is installed, usually between your keyboard and your CPU.
How do I keep key logging software from being installed on my computer?
The best protection against key logging software is to strictly follow security best practices:
- Check the keyboard connection to your computer and ensure that there is not a cable installed between the keyboard cord and the CPU.
- Be suspicious about anybody who asks to perform maintenance or work on your computer. Be sure to check for an identification badge and check with Wilkes IT staff to ensure that they are authorized.
- Always keep your computer's operating system up to date with security patches.
- Install and run anti-virus and spyware removal software. Be sure to keep the virus and spyware definitions up to date.
- Run a full system scan weekly with the anti-virus and spyware removal software.
Following these basic guidelines is your best defense against key logging software.
What can I do to avoid being a victim of a hardware-based key logger?
University faculty, staff, and students must be vigilant in their efforts to secure their computers and information resources. Please be alert to attempts to gain access to computer information by keeping the following points in mind:
- All IT staff carry Wilkes University ID that should be asked for.
- If you see someone suspicious in your work area, ask them specifically who they work for and ask for contact information for that person. Always verify an individual's identity prior to allowing them access to your computer.
If you suspect that you have been a victim of suspicious or malicious activity related to computer security, contact the Help Desk at 408-help immediately. Preservation of the tampered system and a timely investigation are imperative to limiting damage and finding a suspect.