Geek Computer Logo
Geek Computer
Creating better technological experiences!
Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Can You Get a Keylogger Just by Visiting a Website?




Ever since malware and virus infections have started to increase at a rapid pace, the fear of getting a keylogger just by visiting a website is bothering many people. After all, a majority of internet users access a lot of websites on a daily basis. In case, any of these sites contain a keylogger, your device will get immediately infected. 

A keylogger is a type of spyware or malicious program that can steal your personal information simply by recording keystrokes. It can record consecutive keystrokes and other information that a user enters on his device. Generally, cybercriminals steal critical information like passwords and credit card numbers through this malicious program. 

Let’s delve deeper to understand how keylogger works and if there are chances to get a keylogger just by visiting a website. 

What Exactly Is A Keylogger? 

A keylogger is a tool or software program that monitors every activity conducted on a device. Some keyloggers are also used by company owners to keep an eye on their employees. Nevertheless, in this case, the organization owns the device where they are installing the keylogger. 

However, when this program is used for malicious purposes, then you will not even realize when a cybercriminal breaches your computer. There are various types of keyloggers that periodically take screenshots of the device, steal the passwords that you enter, record all the internet sources that you visit, eavesdrop on your phone call, and even steal sensitive financial and confidential information. 

The stolen data is sent over to a remote computer or a network for further use. The person operating the keylogger program can easily retrieve all this sensitive information and use it for criminal purposes. 

Yet, the chances of getting a keylogger just by visiting a website depend on the type of keylogger that a criminal is using. Usually, there are two types of keylogger that you will encounter. This includes, 

Hardware Keylogger

In this case, the hardware device is embedded in an internal PC hardware to record all the keystrokes you type. It can also be a plugin secretly inserted into your keyboard port to record the keystrokes you type. Still and all, in this case, the cybercriminals need to have physical access to the system to plant this hardware keylogger. 

Software Keylogger

This is the easiest form of keylogger that can be installed on a victim’s device. It can be installed if you click on a phishing link be it a website, email, or anything. Once, you visit the site, it automatically starts to download and records your actions. 

Ways To Get Infected By A Keylogger: 

Cybercriminals use a variety of methods to install a keylogger. You can simply get a keylogger installed by visiting a malicious website or even by clicking a phishing link. Let’s take a look at all the ways to get infected by a keylogger, 

Visiting A Phishing Website 

Phishing URLs are already infected with malware. They redirect users to a spammy website. There are no defined ways where you will encounter these URLs. This can happen almost anywhere. But, ideally, there are high chances of encountering these phishing websites while reading app descriptions, video descriptions, and articles. 

Once you visit the website, the keylogger will start downloading automatically and start recording everything you do on your device. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to stay away from clicking such malicious sites.

Clicking A Pop-up Ads 

Not all pop-up ads are malicious. But, there are malicious pop-ups that can harbor a keylogger on its own when you visit the site. Even, when you want to close these pop-up ads, the hackers will simply install the malware as you tap on the closing button. These criminals design the pop-up ads in this way. 

Opening A Spam Mail

Phishing emails are one of the most common ways of cyberattacks. Every day, millions of phishing emails are sent to users across the globe. If you can deter between phishing emails and legit emails, then you can minimize the chances of getting a keylogger. However, if you accidentally click on these infected emails, there are high chances of getting a keylogger that will even hide on your device.

Drive-by Downloads

Another common way of getting a keylogger is through drive-by downloads. It works as you scour the web. When you visit a spammy website, be it through a phishing URL or even a search engine, your computer gets exposed to the malware. It will secretly and automatically start downloading while you are browsing. It will collect all the information you type throughout the session.

Installing Malicious Files

The malicious files or software are another source of a keylogger infection. Malicious software can be embedded into a seemingly authentic file or software. So, users can’t rectify it while downloading. Once it’s installed, the hackers collect all the personal and confidential information. It’s one of the easiest ways to get a keylogger installed because of the increasing number of applications used by people. 

These are the forms of keylogger infection that occur to your device. Still and all, there are ways to detect this malware by conducting the following steps. 

How Will You Protect Your Device From A Keylogger?

There are telltale signs that easily indicate that your device has a keylogger installed in it, especially, if the keylogger program is of poor quality. In case of a commercial-grade program, it is usually difficult to detect a keylogger as it doesn’t affect your computer’s performance. 

Still, there are ways to protect yourself and your device from falling victim to this malware. 

The steps to protect your device from a keylogger include:

1. Have Regular Access To Your Task Manager 

You can monitor the active application in your system from the windows task manager. In case, any keylogger is running on your system, then you can immediately spot it. 

  • Open your task manager by pressing ctrl+Alt+Del. 
  • Click on “processes”. 
  • Look for unfamiliar applications. 
  • Right-click on the application and select “end process”. 

Once you end the process, the keylogger will not record your keystroke but it will still be there on your system.

2. Uninstall A Keylogger

The best way to protect yourself from a keylogger is to uninstall it by navigating to your computer programs and features. 

  • Open your control panel. 
  • Click on “programs and features”

Can You Get a Keylogger Just by Visiting a Website?

  • Check any unusual application or suspicious application that you have not installed manually. 
  • Right-click on the application and remove it instantly.

3. Clear Your Temp Folder

Your  TEMP folder has the least security on your devices. That’s the reason why the keylogger program chooses to live in these folders. By regularly clearing your temp folder, you can reduce the chances of getting spied by these keyloggers. 

  • Open your windows explorer search bar by pressing CTRL+R and type %temp%. 

Can You Get a Keylogger Just by Visiting a Website?

  • Now select all and delete the files. 

After clearing your files from Temp, make sure you clear them from the recycle bins too to permanently get rid of this malware program.

4. Run A Malware Scan

Running a malware scan can be another effective way to detect keyloggers on your device. But, make sure your malware scanner is downloaded from trusted resources. Sometimes, this scanner itself contains malicious files. 

However, a scanner downloaded from trusted resources can deep scan your device and identify the malicious program running on it. If it detects any suspicious element, it will instantly delete it and conclude the scan. 

Conclusion 

There are numerous ways to get a keylogger installed on your device without you even realizing it. Hackers are improvising their methods and using several software programs to attack the users. 

So, there are chances of getting a keylogger simply by visiting a website if it contains a malware program. It is important to be vigilant and take the necessary precaution to stop falling victims to these cyber-attacks. 

We hope this guide answered your question and you can successfully protect yourself from this software program now.

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, THE GEEK COMPUTER ENTITIES SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, OR ANY LOSS OF PROFITS OR REVENUES, WHETHER INCURRED DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, OR ANY LOSS OF DATA, USE, GOODWILL, OR OTHER INTANGIBLE LOSSES, RESULTING FROM (i) YOUR ACCESS TO OR USE OF OR INABILTY TO ACCESS OR USE THE SITE; (ii) ANY CONDUCT OR CONTENT OF ANY THIRD PARTY ON THE SITE, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY DEFAMATORY, OFFENSIVE OR ILLEGAL CONDUCT OF OTHER USERS OR THIRD PARTIES; (iii) ANY CONTENT OBTAINED FROM THE SITE; OR (iv) UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS, USE OR ALTERATION OF YOUR TRANSMISSIONS OR CONTENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AGGRESGATE LIABILITY OF THE GEEK COMPUTER ENTITIES EXCEED THE GREATER OF ONE HUNDRED U.S. DOLLARS (U.S. $100.00) OR THE AMOUNT YOU PAID GEEK COMPUTER, IF ANY, IN THE PAST SIX MONTHS FOR THE SITE GIVING RISE TO THE CLAIM. THE LIMITATIONS OF THE SUBSECTION SHALL APPLY TO ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WETHER BASED ON WARRANTY, CONTRACT, STATUTE, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE) OR OTHERWISE, AND WHETHER OR NOT THE GEEK COMPUTER ENTITIES HAVE BEEN INFORMED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ANY SUCH DAMAGE, AND EVEN IF A REMEDY SET FORTH HEREIN IS FOUND TO HAVE FAILED OF ITS ESSENTIAL PURPOSE.