What Does Keylogger Mean?

A keylogger is a technology that tracks and records consecutive key strokes on a keyboard. Because sensitive information such as usernames and passwords are often entered on a keyboard, a keylogger can be a very dangerous technology. Keyloggers are often part of malware, spyware or an external virus.


Techopedia Explains Keylogger

There are many different kinds of keyloggers based on diverse keylogging methods. These include hardware and software keyloggers. Software keyloggers can be built into rootkits or other less detectable forms, and can infiltrate a computer in various ways. Hardware keyloggers can be fitted into the line from a keyboard to a device. Other more esoteric forms of keyloggers are based on electromagnetic emanations from hardware, which are addressed by emissions security protocols.

While keylogging is an ever-present danger in many parts of the tech world, some new technologies are keylogger-resistant. The touch screen interfaces of mobile devices often render conventional keyloggers useless, and visual methods like drop-down box selections can also provide a foil to keyloggers, given a secure data entry method for these selections. In many cases, however, keylogging can be very effective, and is becoming a serious issue for the average technology user.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.