How to Check a PC for a Keylogger
When you surf the Internet without proper preventative software installed, your computer can be infected with malicious software such as keyloggers, which keep a record of every keystroke you make and each website you view. To find out if your PC has a keylogger and prevent any other from being installed you will need to download a series of software programs to protect your web browser.
Download and install a firewall--such as "Zone Alarm" (see Resources below)--that requests your permission any time a new program attempts to install itself on your machine. Open the program and go into the "Permissions" or "Settings" menu and choose the highest security setting so that all programs will need permission from you before running.
Install an anti-virus program such as "AVG Free Anti-Virus" (see Resources below). Open the program and click on the "Update" button. Wait for it to search for updates and then click on "Update Now." Wait for the update to finish downloading and then click on "Scan." Click on the option to scan your entire hard drive for problems. Choose the option to either "Heal" or "Quarantine" any infected files that are found.
Find and install a spyware searching program such as "Lavasoft Ad-Aware," "Super Anti-Spyware" or "Spybot Search and Destroy" (see Resources below).
Run the anti-spyware program and then click on the "Update" button. Choose the option to download any available updates. Look through the list of options in the program's menu to see if there is an option for "Prevention" or "Immunization." Click on the option so that the program will check your browser periodically and prevent any further keyloggers from being covertly installed.
Click on the option to run a scan of your computer's hard drive. Wait for the scan to finish and then check the list of discovered programs to see if any keyloggers have been installed on your computer. Check the box next to the keylogger and then click on the option to "Remove Selected Problems."
Tips & Warnings
- Windows Vista, because of its enhanced security measures, requires many of the anti-spyware programs to be opened by an administrator. Right click on the program and choose "Run as Administrator" to open it.