Not all forms of malware are designed to lock or restrict file access. Some are designed to run inconspicuously in the background of an infected computer while capturing its keystrokes. Known as keyloggers, they’ve become increasingly common in recent years. During a keylogger infection, though, you may notice one or more of the following signs.
#1) Suspicious Hardware
There are two types of keyloggers: hardware based and software based. The former, of course, involves the use of hardware to record keystrokes, whereas the latter involves the use of software to record keystrokes. If you discover suspicious hardware that neither you nor anyone else at your small business installed, it could be a keylogger. Hardware-based keyloggers such as this include keyboard attachments, cable attachments and data sniffing devices.
#2) Unknown Processes
Another sign of a keylogger infection is unknown processes running in the background of your computer. Keyloggers are a type of software, and like other software, they’ll create processes during operation. You can view active processes in Windows via the Task Manager. Just pull the Task Manager, at which point you can scroll through the list of processes that are currently running on your computer. If you see an unknown process, it could be indicative of a keylogger infection.
#3) Delayed Typing
Although there are exceptions, many types of keyloggers will create a typing delay. In other words, your computer won’t immediately respond to your keystroke. Instead, there will be a brief delay from when you enter a key to when your computer responds with the appropriate command. Typing delays such as this can be caused by other problems, such as low usable RAM or low batteries in a wireless keyboard. Nonetheless, if you encounter delayed typing, your computer could be infected with a keylogger.
#4) Virus Detected
Keyloggers are typically flagged by anti-virus software. If your computer’s anti-virus software detects a virus, you should proceed to either remote or quarantine it. Otherwise, your keystrokes could be recorded. Removal offers the greatest level of protection since it deletes the virus from your computer’s hard drive. If the virus is located in a sensitive area or folder, though, you may have to quarantine it instead.
#5) Random Freezing
Your computer may freeze randomly if it’s infected with a keylogger. Keyloggers are developed by nefarious individuals who seek to steal a victim’s data. As a result, they often cause performance issues when deployed. If your computer is infected with a keylogger, you may experience performance issues in the form of random freezing.