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How to Detect Keylogger Software on Your Computer

in Cybersecurity/Hacking

There are many sneaky hacker tools and programs that could find their way to your computer. A keylogger is one of the most dangerous programs as it records each and every stroke you make on your laptop’s keyboard.

In this guide, we take a look at what keyloggers do, how they get onto your computer, how to detect and get rid of them.

What is a Keylogger?

Leading cybersecurity firm McAfee describes a keylogger (short for keystroke logger) as a “software that tracks or logs the keys struck on your keyboard, typically in a covert manner so that you don’t know that your actions are being monitored. This is usually done with malicious intent to collect your account information, credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, and other private data.” That means that hackers can get all your usernames, passwords, account numbers and PIN codes.

There are also legitimate uses of keyloggers. Parents can use them to monitor their children’s activities online. Authorities can use them to track and analyze cases associated with the use of personal computers. Employers can use them to ascertain that their employees are working and not just surfing the web.

Nevertheless, keyloggers pose a big threat to your online life. Especially, if you have a compromised device as there’s no amount of encryption that can save you.

Keyloggers are programmed to run on your computer as soon as you switch it on. Besides, they don’t slow down a computer making them hard to identify.

There are two different types of keyloggers – software and hardware.

Software keyloggers are keyloggers that are anonymously configured into your computer’s program and run in the background undetected while sending all your information to the hacker.

Hardware keyloggers are keyloggers in the form of USB sticks or other hardware. They are inserted at the back of the CPU and operate by filming your keystrokes. Although hardware keyloggers do exist and are used, they aren’t as common as software keyloggers.

How Can a Keylogger Find its Way Into Your Computer?

keylogger software

Keyloggers are spread the same way that malicious programs are spread. Apart from legitimate use cases of keyloggers or in instances where they are installed by a jealous partner or spouse, a keylogger can be installed into your computer as part of a trojan.

A trojan is software that gains access to your computer’s system by pretending to be harmless but is designed to do something damaging. In this case, recording crucial information by tracking and logging each key struck on your keyboard. A trojan can be an attachment that’s received via email, text, social media or instant messaging. You can also get infected by visiting a website.

Additionally, the downloaded trojan can provide an opening for the hacker to get more malware through your computer’s firewall. Once the keylogger has recorded your keystrokes in a file saved on your computer, it will use a separate program to send out that information over the internet. And because malware analysts can trap the file and track the hacker, the information rarely gets sent straight to the hacker. Instead, the information is encrypted and then shared on a public message board where the cybercriminal can anonymously download the data.

Anti-spyware and antimalware’s tend to overlook keylogging because there are quite a number of legitimate programs that use keyloggers. It’s therefore hard to prevent keyloggers from getting into your computer.

Additionally, there are those that manage to sneak in past antimalware programs during system updates. Because of these reasons, it’s very difficult to protect your computer from keyloggers. The only way to protect yourself is to avoid downloading and installing software unless you are sure of the source.

How to Detect a Keylogger

how to detect a keylogger

“How to detect a keylogger on your computer?” is a commonly asked question among cybersecurity conscious individuals. The simple and short answer is to open your task manager and look at the processes that are running.

Unfortunately, most of the background processes have very obscure names. It can be hard finding a keylogger because hackers don’t just name them keyloggers. Windows will always show all the programs that are running in the background. If there’s a program that isn’t familiar to you, you can do a simple Google search. Hopefully, you will find articles written on the different names used for keyloggers.

Another way that you can detect a keylogger is by monitoring your computer’s network connections using a firewall. Remember, keyloggers work by collecting and sending your logs to a remote location. That means that an internet connection is used to send the encrypted file. You can make use of applications such as Windows Firewall Control to check the programs that are using your network connection. In addition, you can use the program to set rules to prevent unauthorized or unknown programs from connecting to the internet. However, with this method, there’s no guarantee that you will have blocked the right programs.

How to Get Rid of Keyloggers

Keyloggers were introduced to keep track of what employees were doing on company computers. They have since become a tool that hackers use to access people’s crucial information. Today, keyloggers are also becoming very common with digital marketers as they use them to monitor the activities of visitors on their sites.

Getting rid of keyloggers is never easy as you might be forced to uninstall and reinstall your operating system to completely get rid of it. However, by investing in a good antikeylogger software, you will be one step ahead of protecting your computer and your digital footprint. A good antikeylogger should be able to audit all the processes running on your computer. From the background services, apps running to the BIOS, network settings, browser settings, plug-ins, and operating systems.

A lot of the keylogger software available tend to be rootkit viruses. Get a good antikeylogger system and an anti-rootkit program. This will help you to stop the installation of keyloggers.

Most of the top antivirus companies such as Bitdefender, McAfee, Kaspersky, and Norton offer antikeyloggers and anti-rootkit programs. Aside from installing a good antikeylogger and anti-rootkit program, avoid downloading just about any app you come across. Also, always ensure that your software is up to date.

What is a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) and How to Protect Yourself Against it

in Hacking
Remote Access Trojan

When a hacker attacks your computer, it is usually easy to notice the red flags. However, a remote access trojan (RAT) can be difficult to detect.

In this guide, you will learn what a remote access trojan is, how it works, and how to protect yourself against this malware.

What is a Remote Access Trojan?

A RAT is a type of malware that gives a cybercriminal remote access to your computer without your knowledge. This attack is silent because the attacker does not give himself away. This means that a hacker can have access to your computer for years without you noticing that something is wrong.

A remote access trojan is similar to legit programs used to share files and to provide tech support. The difference, however, is that hackers use RATs for malicious purposes.

A RAT attack begins when you download malicious software to your computer or download compromised torrent files.

The malware will then install itself on your computer and create a direct connection with a command-and-control (C&C) server by using your computer’s predefined open TCP port. The hacker owns this server and could connect your computer to more than one C&C server. This connection gives the attacker remote access to your computer.

Why Are RATs Dangerous?


Once attackers gain remote access to your computer, they can do anything they like. They can remotely watch you via your webcam, record your private conversations, log keystrokes, obtain your identifying information such as name and identification number, obtain your bank account details, read your documents, use your computer to download illegal content, and use your Wi-Fi network to carry out criminal activities in your name.

Cybercriminals could use your bank details to steal your money or to shop on the dark web for illegal goods. Additionally, they could sell sensitive information and photos on the dark web.

With access to your computer and home network, attackers could also use a botnet for further attacks. A botnet enables them to use your computer resources for file hosting and torrenting. If your computer is just one of the thousands of hacked computers, they could use a botnet to launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which could cause damage on a massive scale.

Examples of RAT Malware

Back Orifice and CrossRAT are some of the most well-known RATs out there.

The hacker group cult of the Dead Cow is behind the creation of Back Orifice. The RAT was released in 1998 and specifically targets Windows 95 and 98. The malware was designed to detect security issues in Windows operating systems. Hackers could use Back Orifice to acquire passwords and banking PINs or to modify files.

Spyware campaign Dark Caracal is behind CrossRAT, a RAT malware that was reported in 2018. The RAT contains a .jar file that modifies files, takes screenshots of your computer activity, and makes your system vulnerable to outside threats. CrossRAT infects computers running Windows, Linux, and OSX operating systems.

Other types of RATs include Beast, Mirage, and Blackshades.

How to Spot a RAT

RAT malware

Spotting a RAT infection is difficult because it does not slow down your computer and does not appear on the list of running tasks or programs on your machine.

However, RAT malware will slow down your internet connection. Therefore, this is a sign that could prompt you to take action like scanning your computer using malware detection tools or an antivirus.

If you find that your files have been deleted or changed and you are sure that you did not do it, you might have a RAT.

Also, if a dark web monitoring service provider finds your identifying information on the dark web, it might have found its way there because a hacker accessed it through RAT malware.

Hackers sometimes add RAT malware to Windows startup directories enabling automatic execution when you launch your computer. To look for such a program, take these steps.

  • Press the “Windows key” + “R”
  • Type in msconfig.exe in the command box and hit enter. The system configuration window will appear on your screen
  • Click the “Startup tab” and open the “Task manager”
  • Look for any suspicious programs

If you find an odd program, research its legitimacy online. If it is RAT malware, you should install security software on your computer and run a complete scan to remove the infection. Once done, change your passwords and banking PINs and increase your overall security.

Some of the tools that you can use to catch a RAT include SpyHunter, Immunet, and SUPERAntiSpyware.

Safety Measures

You can avoid a RAT malware infection by practicing the following safety measures:

  • Only download software, games, and email attachments from trustworthy sources
  • Use antivirus or antimalware software on your computer and update it regularly
  • Update your web browsers, applications, and operating system regularly
  • Check your list of installed programs frequently and uninstall any odd programs
  • Do not click suspicious links shared to you via email or social media
  • Unplug from the internet any computers you are not using 
  • Configure a firewall for your computer
  • Restrict internet access to programs that do not necessarily need it
  • Secure your Wi-Fi network
  • Secure your email to keep out malicious messages and attachments
  • Use multi-factor authentication to keep attackers from logging into your accounts once they get your login credentials
  • Cover your webcam when you are not using it
  • Constantly back up your data
  • Encrypt sensitive data on your computer

Practicing just some of the above-mentioned safety measures will already greatly reduce the risk of getting hacked via a remote access trojan.

Top 5 Free Encrypted Email Services, Reviewed for 2020

in Privacy
Encrypted Email

If you want to be sure that no one is reading your emails, choosing an encrypted email service is the right move.

In this guide, we take a look at five of the best free encrypted email services you can use in 2020.


encrypted email services

ProtonMail is arguably one of the best options when it comes to free encrypted email services. It is based in Switzerland, a location that is considered to be much better than locations such as the UK or US. As such, ProtonMail has a strong privacy policy that pledges not to store your IP address or any data that can personally make you identifiable.

As one of the top encrypted email services, ProtonMail is very easy to use. It has a powerful end-to-end encryption feature that protects any email that you send until the recipient opens it. In addition, you and the recipient are the only ones that can view the email. This zero-access build of ProtonMail’s servers ensures that only you and the recipient can open and read the encrypted emails and not event ProtonMail can read the emails.

In the event that your email recipient does not use ProtonMail, you can opt to send them an email that is unencrypted. However, ProtonMail has a feature that can encrypt the message and instead leave a link in the email. The recipient will be able to decrypt the email using a password that you will share with them privately. Moreover, ProtonMail gives you 500MB of storage space with the free option.


  • One of the best-encrypted email services
  • Has a strong privacy policy with zero-access construction
  • Does not log IP addresses


  • Free option has limited storage
  • Upgrading is quite expensive


free encrypted email

CounterMail is a web-based encrypted email provider that has its data centers located in Sweden. This encrypted email service is easy to use and very secure. It is designed to provide maximum privacy and security without any unwarranted complexity. Although CounterMail’s website looks outdated, you can be rest assured that their email security is built to handle today’s privacy threat.

With CounterMail, you have access to your email account from anywhere, at any time worldwide. Your account will always remain anonymous and encrypted. Its encryption works transparently and automatically without requiring any specialized computer knowledge or skills. CounterMail uses a strong encryption protocol known as OpenPGP coupled with 4096 bits encryption keys to secure your data.

In addition, one of the features that makes CounterMail stand out from its competitors is the use of diskless web servers. This means that CounterMail is doing everything possible to keep you anonymous as you use their service. They also offer MITM (Man-In-The-Middle) protection, which helps protect your identity. There is a USB-key option that enables CounterMail to be used with your password for increased security. This way, you get better protection against brute force attacks and keyloggers.


  • Uses diskless servers
  • Data servers are located in Sweden
  • Uses the OpenPGP encryption protocol


  • Free option only lasts 7-days
  • Outdated user interface and design


secure email services

Hushmail is a Canadian encrypted email provider that allows users to sign up for free and get an account. With the free option, you are only able to get 15 MB of storage with a single address. This means that you will not be able to receive large attachments in your emails and will, therefore, need to constantly delete emails to free up some space. As such, Hushmail is ideal for anyone looking for a free encrypted email service and doesn’t mind deleting emails now and then.

While Hushmail can be used on smartphones and desktop-based email applications, it is not compatible with macOS. In addition, its servers are located in Canada, a country that is not the best when it comes to privacy. However, with the applied end-to-end encryption, your emails will remain safe and their contents won’t be accessible to anyone.

Moreover, the company’s core values are based on privacy, clarity, and simplicity. Hushmail has done a great job of demonstrating this by providing users with a neat design, easy-to-use interface, outstanding privacy features, and protection.

Every email is encrypted using OpenPGP encryption. If your recipient uses Hushmail, they will be able to read their email on their smartphone or computer. However, if they don’t use Hushmail, they will get a link that is attached to the email. This link will redirect them to a website that is more secure after which they will be required to key in a passphrase before they can get complete access to the email. You can also add another extra layer of security that will require the recipient to answer a security question before they can access the contents of your email.


  • Can be used on smartphones and desktop
  • Has an easy-to-use interface and design
  • Uses OpenPGP encryption


  • It is not compatible with macOS
  • Its data server is based in Canada


Free encrypted email services

Tutanota is another free encrypted email provider that is easy to use. It is an open-source, web-based email application with its servers located in Germany.

Germany has some of the toughest data privacy rules so you can be rest assured they have got your back when it comes to privacy. What we love most about Tutanota is that with the free option, users get 1GB of free storage with one email address. In addition, Tutanota is compatible with Windows, Android, iPhone, Mac, and Linux.

Tutanota gives you the ability to securely send and receive emails without the use of PGP keys. Instead, they use strong AES encryption with Perfect Forward Secrecy. This means users can a password and a special link system to send emails that are end-to-end encrypted to just about anyone regardless of the service they are currently using. Moreover, this email service is built to strip IP addresses from the email headers. It can also encrypt metadata. As such, you get to enjoy a very secure email service that makes it hard for anyone to track or see the contents of your email.

The only downside worth mentioning is that Tutanota stores some minimal metadata logs for messages sent for five days using the service. This is done to ensure the smooth running of the service.


  • Provides end-to-end encryption
  • Compatible with all browsers and devices
  • Users get 1GB of storage


  • The AES encryption is not the most secure
  • Stores some minimal metadata logs



Mailfence is an encrypted email service provider that was launched in 2013. Its servers are based in Belgium, a country that has strong privacy protection laws.

Mailfence believes that ‘privacy is a right, not a feature’. To this end, their service cannot be tracked. Moreover, Mailfence does not have any ads, spams, solicitation or backdoor and is free from government surveillance. Mailfence has incorporated state of the art security features that protect your email privacy at all times. With the free option, users get 500 MB of email storage and 500MB of document storage.

In order to deliver emails that are completely secure, Mailfence uses different methods. One method used to achieve this is OpenPGP end-to-end encryption that ensures that only your recipient can decrypt your email. Secondly, you can also send a password encrypted email. This means that you will need to show a password with your recipient that they will need to key in before they can access your email. Additionally, you have the option of using a digital signature. This works in a similar fashion as a stamped seal or handwritten signature only that the digital signature provides more inherent security.

Unlike other email service providers, Mailfence has an integrated suite of tools, such as calendars, messages, contacts or and documents. With this service provider, you get the freedom to choose which email you want to encrypt. In addition, it is a private, secure and easy-to-use service.


  • Uses the OpenPGP end-to-end encryption
  • Has an integrated suite of tools
  • Its servers are based in Belgium


  • Stores some user logs
  • Its paid for plans are expensive

5 Ways Your Instagram Account Can Be Hacked

in Hacking
instagram hacking

Today, Instagram is on almost everyone’s phone. It’s an excellent app to stay connected with your loved ones, stalk your crush, and share your life through pictures or videos.

Like other applications, Instagram requires users to have a password. However, users often go for easy-to-remember passwords which creates vulnerabilities. These types of passwords are vulnerable and can lead to Instagram hacking.

Instagram hackers use various ways to hack into IG accounts. In this guide, you will discover the top five most common ways your Instagram account could get hacked.

Instagram Spy Software

instagram hacker

A typical software that can be used to access IG accounts is mSpy Instagram Tracker. It is used to gain access or track someone’s activities on Instagram, even without the target knowing they are being watched. The tracker also allows remote monitoring of direct messages, comments, tagged photos, and shared content without logging into someone else’s account.

The basic functionality of this spying app is pretty much the same with other spying apps. It has to be installed on phones that are being tracked. mSpy is not only used to spy on Instagram accounts, but it can also reveal messages from WhatsApp, Snapchat, Messenger, and other social networks. It also provides access to text messages, emails, website history, and calls.

To prevent someone from spying on your private life, you should check your phone settings regularly and uninstall applications you cannot recognize. mSpy loses the ability to track your activities once it is uninstalled.

Phishing Websites

Phishing websites are another common way to hack into Instagram accounts. Instagram hackers set up a phishing page that looks exactly like the real Instagram landing page to collect your login details.

Hackers send a link to their fake login page. Once you enter your login credentials, the page records all the entries and sends it to them. That allows them to obtain access to your Instagram username and password.

The safest way to ensure you do not fall prey is to not click on links sent to you out of the blue.

Forgot Password Feature

One of the simplest ways hackers can gain access to an Instagram account is through the use of Instagram’s “Forgot Password” feature. However, the other piece of this is gaining access to the target’s email address or phone number.

The gateway to your account is either through an email address or phone number. So, ensure that you do not give access to your email address login details or leave your email open on someone else’s browser.


Keyloggers are one of the most advanced ways to hack an Instagram account. Each tap and click on the target’s device is tracked without the target having the hint of being watched. That information is then sent to the hacker by the keylogger.

Uninstalling the keylogger software blocks it from tracking activities on your phone or computer. However, keyloggers are not always easy to notice, which is why they pose such a threat to their victims.

Hacking Tools

Hacking Tools are pieces of software that hackers use to gain access to devices. There are lots of free applications on the internet that allow hackers access to your phone. That makes them even more dangerous.

Most hacking tools are used by security experts for legal purposes. However, there are “black hat hackers” that indulge in Instagram hacking via specialized software.

The best way to prevent any Instagram hacking software from accessing your account is to ensure you upgrade your phone as soon as you receive the latest updates with security patches.

5 Ways Hackers Are Hacking Facebook

in Cybersecurity/Hacking
hacking facebook

Facebook is one of the largest social networks in the world, with over two billion accounts, making it a target for black hat hackers. Facebook also has a real name policy, meaning you have to use real information when setting up an account. If someone is hacking Facebook, there is a high probability that your personal information is compromised and can be used for other things. 

Discover the top five most common ways cybercriminals are trying to hack your Facebook account.


You would think people have stopped falling for phishing attempts. However, that is not the case.

Phishing usually starts with an email sent to you from what looks like Facebook Support. The email asks you to log in to your account for some reason. The hacker has created a fake login page that looks very close to the original. That is where the email will direct you. Once you put in your login credentials, it saves them. Just like that, the hacker has your information. 

The best way to prevent this is not to click on unknown links and to check carefully whether emails you receive are real or not. Also, turn on phishing blockers on your browser.

Using a Keylogger

Keyloggers are much more rampant than most of the other strategies in this guide. A keylogger records all the keys pressed on a keyboard.

To hack a Facebook account password, hackers create a keylogger server that will run on the victim’s machine, capturing all keystrokes and emailing themselves the records. Keyloggers are spread through malicious websites, pen drives, and USB hard drives. 

A keylogger is particularly dangerous because it can steal sensitive information like bank credentials and other personal information. To learn how to detect a keylogger on your device, check out our guide here.

Plain Password Stealing

Plain password stealing is a common method for Facebook hacking. Therefore, it is important to be aware of this technique. 

facebook hacker

A hacker targets a poorly secured website and hacks their database to steal people’s plain usernames, passwords, and other personal data. That especially works on sites that allow users to sign up or sign in using their social media credentials. Also, most people use the same passwords across different websites, which means if hackers have access to one database, they have access to all your accounts, including Facebook.

To prevent this kind of hack, try not to sign up with your social media credentials on low-quality websites. Some of these sites just store your details in their database without even thinking about encryption or security. 

Another way to protect yourself is to set unique passwords. Do not use the password used on your Facebook account and any other meaningful site for another website/portal.

Corrupted Browser Extensions

This hack comes from downloading harmful browser extensions. You are often prompted to download some browser add-on when you visit malicious websites. Some of these add-ons were created by hackers to be able to control your computer or gain access to your data. Also, these browser add-ons can enable the hacker to perform actions like posting status updates on your wall or liking a Facebook page.

The way to protect yourself from this, do not trust any third party websites hinting that you add a browser extension. You should only install an add-on from the browser store, and only trusted publishers. Ensure you monitor activities on your Facebook account from time to time too, using the Activity Log.  

Social Engineering

Social engineering is information gathering on a person and using that information to gain access to the person’s account. Someone who knows enough about you may be able to get into your account by guessing your password.

A simple way to avoid almost all the hacking tactics listed here is to enable two-factor authentification on your Facebook account. If you set up two-factor authentication, Facebook would ask you to enter a special login code or confirm your login attempt each time anyone tries accessing your account from a computer that Facebook doesn’t recognize.

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