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What is a Keylogger?

A keylogger or keystroke logger is a software program or hardware device that captures and stores keystrokes from your keyboard. This is a form of spyware that can exist undetected on your computer.

Bad actors use keyloggers to quietly steal information such as passwords, login credentials, personal identifying information (PII), and financial information. Keyloggers also have legitimate uses. For example, companies might install keyloggers to measure productivity, monitor potentially harmful activities, or to provide user support. It's important to note that companies must notify employees when they are being monitored through keylogging.

How Does a Keylogger Work?

Keyloggers are often installed on a computer through a software download. Hardware keyloggers are physically connected between the keyboard and the computer. Since hardware devices are more easily detected and more difficult to install, software keyloggers are most often used.

As you type information into an application or website, your keystrokes are written to a file on your computer. Some keyloggers are also capable of screen captures and your clipboard copy and paste. This file is automatically uploaded or emailed to a third party.

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