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keylogger recording keystrokes
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Signs your phone or computer is infected with a keylogger

Hackers and scammers are a constant threat, but they’re not the only ones you must worry about. People in your social circles (or even in your own house) can spy on you by forwarding your calls and texts. Tap or click here to check if your calls are being intercepted and how to stop it.

Keyloggers are programs installed on devices to record keystrokes. Employers use them to monitor worker activity during office hours, while parents also use these tools to keep tabs on their children.

Unsurprisingly, crooks have adapted these tools, implanting keyloggers on computers and spyware on phones. They can create login screens to capture your usernames and passwords and scan your activity for credit card numbers. Here’s how to spot and remove this threat.

Check your computer

Keyloggers can be challenging to find, but not impossible. Most trustworthy antivirus programs automatically check for keyloggers, so it’s crucial to have one protecting all of your devices. Also, ensure your operating system is updated regularly so you get security patches that help block these types of threats.

However, since some keyloggers are constantly updated with new ways to outsmart detection, you may want to do some digging. You’ll need to check your list of installed programs to do this.

So, what are you looking for? Pretty much anything unfamiliar or suspicious. If you don’t recognize the name of a program, do a Google search to find out what it is.

Anything with the word keylogger in the title is a dead giveaway. Some other known keylogging programs to watch for include DanuSoft, Refog, Spytech, Revealer, Ardamax, WinSpy and Spyrix. These are just some examples, and there are countless others out there.

Here’s how to find and remove installed programs for Mac and PC:

Remove programs on a Mac

  • Go to your desktop and click Finder in the upper left and open a new finder window.
  • Select your Applications folder and review installed programs.
  • You can group your applications by clicking the View option in the menu and then Use Groups. This will help you weed through all of the apps on your computer.

Checking programs on a PC

  • Go to your Control Panel as if you are going to uninstall a program. A simple way to do this is to type “control panel” in the search box found in the lower-left corner of your PC.
  • Next, select Programs and then Uninstall a Program. You will see a list of all programs that are installed on your computer. Uninstall any programs that raise suspicion.

Related: Online forms are grabbing your data – even if you don’t hit enter

Check your phone

You can detect a keylogger on your phone by examining the performance of your device. Is it running slowly? Is it running hot? Is your battery draining faster than usual? These are all signs that your phone may be infected by malware.

If your phone’s using excessive data, that’s another sign that something suspicious is happening in the background. Look for surprises such as unexplained charges on your bill, popups and apps you didn’t install.

Remove apps from your iPhone

  • Touch and hold the app on the Home Screen, tap Remove App, then Delete App.
  • You can also swipe left to access your App Library, tap and hold an app, then tap Delete App.

Remove apps from your Android phone

  • Open the Google Play Store app.
  • At the top right, tap the Profile icon.
  • Tap Manage apps & devices > Manage.
  • Tap the name of the app you want to delete.
  • Tap Uninstall.

Avoid the problem before it begins

There are a few basic steps you can take to keep your devices protected from malware:

  • Keep your devices up to date Check for Android, iOS, macOS and Windows updates for the latest patches and security fixes.
  • Be careful when clicking on ads or opening links If you aren’t expecting it or don’t know the sender of a text or email, stay away. 
  • Only download apps from official app stores — Avoid all others like the plague.
  • Always use 2FA — Use two-factor authentication for better security whenever available. Tap or click here for details on 2FA.
  • Be wary of links and attachments — Don’t click on links or attachments you receive in unsolicited emails or text messages. They could be malicious, infect your device with malware and steal sensitive information.
  • Antivirus is vital — Always have a trusted antivirus program updated and running on all your devices. We recommend our sponsor, TotalAV. Right now, get an annual plan with TotalAV for only $19 at That’s over 85% off the regular price!

Keep reading: Your personal info is all over the internet – 3 ways to remove it

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