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Definition - What does Keystroke mean?

A keystroke is the pressing of a single key in a physical or virtual keyboard or any other input device. A single key press, in other words is considered as a keystroke. The keystroke is an important component considering typing speed, keystroke logging, hardware, software, acoustic analysis and other studies based on human-computer interaction.

Techopedia explains Keystroke

Keystrokes help operating systems and software applications to proceed with their next actions. Designated events and actions are provided for capturing and analyzing keystrokes in software and operating system-based applications. Keystroke rhythm is unique for a user on a specific keyboard, and is considered a behavior biometric which could be used in many areas such as security, authentication and surveillance. Again, with keystrokes different actions can be completed in the operating system and software applications. Typing speed can be measured in keystrokes per hour or keystrokes per minute.

Keystrokes are frequently used as input. One area of study is keystroke dynamics, which monitors the keyboard inputs thousands of times per second, thereby focusing on identifying the users based on the habitual typing rhythm patterns. Another area is keylogging, where a hardware- or software-based keylogger analyses the user typing and thus the user's typing behavior on specific computer keyboard. Software efficiency is also at times determined by the number of keystrokes used, although considering other parameters, it is usually a lowly ranked characteristic.

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