What is a keylogger and why you need to worry about your computer security
During the past few years, I have noticed an increased amount of keyloggers and phishing schemes developing which are affecting millions of computers every single day, people who develop these types of schemes have gotten better and better in crafting their emails so that you fall for their traps and end up with a compromised computer system, this is why you need to be aware of what is out there and you need to understand why these people spend so much time and money into tactics to steal your computer information.
What is a Keylogger?
First of all, lets talk about what a keylogger is, basically this is a type of application that records everything that you type using your keyboard, it is usually a very small application that you takes a few minutes to install and it is very hard to detect since it uses very low amount of system resources, the goal of a keylogger is to figure out what username and passwords you use , once they are able to catch your key strokes they store them and then they send them to the programmer over the internet.
The risk with this is huge, when a keylogger records all of the data that you type they can gain access to your bank account, tax information, social security and password to investment accounts, not to mention your credit card information and much, much more, they literally can find out everything about you, this is why you need to take action now and learn more about having a secure computer system and how to browse the Internet safely.
How to prevent a key logger from being installed
Computer security can be a very complex topic and it can be confusing for some people since there are a lot of ways that a hacker or spyware can get on your computer, these people spend millions of dollars and incredible amounts of time to develop applications to attack you, this is because it can be a very profitable business to do so, you as a computer user do not need to worry about hiring a cyber security team however there are some steps that you can follow to prevent an attack from happening to you..
5 things you can do to prevent your computer from being hacked.
1. Always keep your Operating System up to date – No matter if you use Windows, MAC or Linux (Chromebook) you always need to allow your computer to run updates, if for any reason your computer will not allow updates to run I would call a computer expert that you trust and have them see why your computer is not updating.
2. . Only install applications from the app store – Most people are used to going online and doing a search for their favorite applications and simply downloading them to their hard drives and installing them, while this can be somewhat safe there are still a lot of programs that are not really that secure, for this reason I highly recommend that you use the App Stores that are built into your Operating System, see most companies are spending a lot of time into building safe systems to allow you to safely download apps, Windows, Linux and MAC have their own app stores where they have taken the time make sure that the apps listed on their stores are safe to use, instead of going online use the app store that came with your OS.
3. Invest in a good Malware/Spyware program – So you probably spent a thousand dollars on your computer or more, you have built a library of music, you have your most valuable documents and pictures on your hard drive and all the sudden your computer gets hacked and you lose everything? Is this something that you think could happen to you? Well, it might! See, a lot of people still believe that there is no reason to pay for a solid Antivirus program however this is a very common mistake that causes people to lose their entire life because the do not invest $40 or $50 dollars in a solid application, as people say you get what you pay for and free is not always the best solution when it comes to your protection, there are many great companies like Malwarebytes that provide amazing value and security for a minimal amount, you having your computer hacked and your documents compromised is not worth saving the money, I highly recommend that you get a good antivirus for your computers so that they can monitor your business and home devices.
4. Be careful of unsolicited emails – One of the most common ways that people fall for phishing schemes is when they get an unsolicited message in social media or their email, just like in real life if you are walking by the street and someone approaches you to offer you something you have to be very careful when it comes to your email, it is very easy to open an email and see an offer that you just cannot resist and once you click on that link it is very possible to have your computer infected, always be very careful clicking or downloading things from an email, if someone sent you an email that requires action I would go to their website directly and login, no matter how urgent the email appears or how great of an offer, if a company emails you asking for you to click on a link to change a password I would not trust that, if it does not feel right go directly to the website and login there instead of following a link on the email.
5. Always have a backup plan – As you can see, there is no such thing as 100% risk free, in this world there is always a possibility of getting your computer compromised and this is why you always need to have a backup plan because it is possible of your computer getting hacked, you need to have some kind of insurance and for this you’ll need a way to insure that you will have access to your data in the even that something did go wrong, let’s start by creating a Backup of all of your documents and files, you can get an External Hard Drive on TigerDirect for very little money, I would recommend that you make a backup of your files once a month, I prefer creating full backups instead of incremental that way I have multiple copies of the same document but you can just do a incremental backup once a month. I recommend that you backup your Documents, Photos, Music and Desktop files. I would not worry much about your applications since you can always download those if you lost your computer. I would also keep an eye on all of your accounts, specially banking and I would change your password every 90 days, this will ensure that your passwords are never the same across accounts and they are they constantly updated.
As you can see, cyber security and malware attacks can be a big threat for you, getting hacked can not only put in risk your documents and photos but it can also affect your wallet, earning more about this topic and investing in your home and business security is worth the money, the losses that you can prevent by following some simple guidelines will be worth the time that you put into it,, follow the stops above and you have a higher chance of avoiding a big headache in the future.
If you have any more questions or want to learn more feel free to ask by leaving a comment, I will be more than happy to help you!