A keylogger is a piece of malware or hardware device that installs on a computer and registers keystrokes on the keyboard and mouse. In most cases, keyloggers are used by criminals to steal passwords and personal information. Also, keyloggers can slow down your computer. In this article, we will tell you how to find and remove keyloggers.
Part 1 of 3: How to prepare your computer
Step 1. Update your operating system and programs
Old software may include vulnerabilities through which keyloggers can penetrate.
If more than one person is using the computer, tell them that you cannot click on any links on the Internet, especially links in pop-up windows, and that you cannot download files from unknown sites
Step 2. Configure web browser security
This process depends on the web browser. Open the Settings menu in a web browser and then look for privacy and / or security options. Disable unnecessary / unknown plugins, block malicious sites and clear your browser history. Delete cookies that track personal information.
Step 3. Install reliable software to ensure the security of your computer
That is, install a good antivirus and antispyware. Free programs are Malwarebytes (anti-spyware) and Avast or Panda (antivirus). Update these programs regularly.
Part 2 of 3: How to Find Keyloggers
Step 1. Open Task Manager
- Right click on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen.
- Select "Task Manager" from the menu.
Step 2. Click Advanced
It's in the lower-left corner of Task Manager. A list of all processes that are running on the computer - programs that you started and processes that are running in the background - will be displayed.
Step 3. Check if there are any suspicious processes
Typically, these are processes that run in the background. Find programs / processes whose names you do not know.
- If you don't know what a particular process is doing, right-click on it and select Find Online from the menu. The network will find information about the selected process.
- If you find a suspicious process, click on it and then click End Process in the lower right corner.
Step 4. Go to the Startup tab
You will find it at the top of the Task Manager. A list of programs that start when the computer's operating system boots up will open.
Step 5. Look for suspicious programs
Perhaps you will find programs you do not know the names of.
- If you do not know what a particular program is doing, right-click on it and select "Find on the Internet" from the menu. The network will find information about the selected program.
- If you find a suspicious program, click on it and then click Disable in the lower right corner.
Step 6. Scan your computer for viruses and malware
Many keyloggers do not appear in the task manager or disguise themselves as known programs. Therefore, scan your computer with a good anti-virus and anti-spyware.
Step 7. Test your desktop computer
A special keylogger device can be installed on a desktop computer. On the computer case, locate the connector to which the keyboard is connected - if there is any device between the keyboard cable and the connector, it is most likely a hardware keylogger.
Perhaps this is not a keylogger, but a regular converter or other legitimate device. In this case, find out who connected this device and why
Part 3 of 3: How to remove a keylogger
Step 1. Find out if the keylogger is displayed in the list of installed programs on the control panel
If so, such a keylogger can be removed using the uninstaller. Then use your antivirus to delete the remaining files associated with the keylogger.
Step 2. Try using the installer
Some keyloggers, like Logixoft Revealer Keylogger, can be uninstalled using their installation programs. Download the installer and use it to remove the keylogger. Also, the keylogger can be removed through the settings menu. Then use your antivirus to delete the remaining files associated with the keylogger.
If the program fails to uninstall, start the computer in safe mode and uninstall the keylogger in it
Step 3. Start Windows Defender Offline
Do this when you update your antivirus. To run Windows Defender Offline, make changes to your settings or create an external storage medium.
Step 4. Look for ways to remove a keylogger by its name
In a search engine, for example, in Yandex, enter the name of the keylogger. Some keyloggers like Refog are very difficult to remove. Read the forums to find out how to remove a keylogger without breaking your computer.
Hijack This is a utility for removing programs that are deeply "registered" in the Windows registry. But be careful when using Hijack This because you can delete files that Windows needs to run. Look online for more information before deleting registry entries
Step 5. Consider reinstalling your operating system
Many keyloggers are so difficult to remove that it is easier to reinstall Windows to get rid of them. Please back up important files before reinstalling the system.
- Reinstalling the system will delete all information from the disk. So be sure to back up your important files and then transfer it to an external hard drive or cloud storage like Google Drive, Dropbox, or One Drive.
- We recommend reinstalling the operating system if banking transactions or confidential documents are processed on the computer with the keylogger. Please be aware that some keyloggers cannot be completely removed.
- If the computer is used to make payments, your passwords can be stolen. In this case, change the passwords on another (secure) computer. Contact your bank if you notice suspicious transactions.
- Avast and Comodo are excellent free PC security software.