Keyloggers are programs which record each keystroke on the computer they are installed on. This provides a complete log of text entered such as passwords, emails sent and websites visited. This log can then be automatically sent over a remote connection without the person using the computer necessarily knowing about it. Because of this, keyloggers are typically associated with malicious software and they will usually be picked up and removed by virus scanners. However, there are also keyloggers which are commercially available for home or office use. In this way, keyloggers have a distinct set of purposes which make them very useful in certain situations.
What Can a Keylogger Do?
Aside from recording keystrokes, some of the commercially available keyloggers provide a set of extra features. Many such keyloggers automatically take screenshots of the computer’s desktop at specified intervals. Most keyloggers also run invisibly so that the person who is using the computer doesn’t even have to be aware that it is running. Some keyloggers can be configured to send the logs discreetly over a remote connection, such as to the owner’s email account. Another feature that many commercially available keyloggers provide is the ability to record which programs are running on the computer and for how long.
Is It Legal to Use a Keylogger?
Using a commercially available keylogger is perfectly legal so long as you are the owner of the computer that it is installed on. Regardless of whether or not the person using your computer knows that the keylogger is running, it is still legal provided that it is your computer. Installing a keylogger on a computer that does not belong to you is illegal in almost all countries and may be severely punishable.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Keylogger?
Using a keylogger provides a number of advantages in various situations. In the workplace, keyloggers are often used to monitor staff when they are using company computers. While this may seem intrusive, it is also an effective way of making sure that employees are using the company’s resources as intended.
Keyloggers are also useful in the home, where they may be used to monitor the activities of children or teenagers online. Keeping children safe on the Internet is extremely important and, in many cases, parental control software is simply not enough by itself. Many of these parental controls are also easily circumvented by children who are more experienced with computers. Although a keylogger does not actually prevent any inappropriate activity, it will let you know what your children are doing on the Internet before any inappropriate activity has a chance to get out of hand.
Another popular use for keylogger software is to monitor a spouse. For those who suspect their spouse of conducting inappropriate communications with members of the opposite sex over the Internet, a keylogger is a surefire way to find out the truth. Keylogger software leaves no stone unturned, and it is one of the most effective solutions for computer surveillance currently available.