Sniff out ‘keyloggers’ before it’s tax time - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Sniff out ‘keyloggers’ before it’s tax time

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Ken Colburn is president of Data Doctors Computer Services and host of the Data Doctors Radio Program, noon Saturdays on KTAR 92.3 FM or at www.datadoctors.com/radio. Readers may send questions to evtrib@datadoctors.com.

Related Stories

Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013 12:49 pm

Question: Is there an easy way to see if I have a hidden keylogger on my Windows 7 computer before I start doing my taxes? — Don

Answer: Tax season is what we refer to as “Christmas for Hackers” because they know that lots of us will be typing very sensitive information on our computers to prepare our returns.

There are a number of threats that can compromise your computer, but few are as disconcerting as a keylogger.

If a malicious keylogger can sneak its way into your computer, it sits silently in the background recording every keystroke you make and can send the daily “transcript” to a remote hacker.

Grabbing your valuable data, such as bank credentials, Social Security numbers and email passwords takes seconds with an automated script.

Keyloggers tend to be fairly sophisticated programs that can masquerade as typical operating system processes, so detecting them can be a little tricky.

A sign that you should have your computer looked at by a knowledgeable person starts with how long it takes your computer to start up. If it’s substantially longer than when it was new, you likely have extra processes running that could include malware.

A quick self-check can be run by opening the Windows Task Manager (right-click on the “Taskbar” at the bottom to start it) when you first turn your computer on and reviewing the number of processes running.

A well maintained computer will have between 40-50 processes running. If the number is 60-, 70- or 80-plus, for a variety of reasons, you should have your computer looked at soon.

Not only will it uncover any potentially hazardous malware, your computer will run significantly better without the extra load.

While you have the Task Manager open, click on the “Processes” tab and click on the “Image Name” column header to sort the processes alphabetically. Scroll down towards the bottom and look for the “winlogon.exe” process.

There should only be one, so if you see more than one instance of winlogon.exe you should stop using your computer immediately and have it examined.

Unfortunately, many of today’s keyloggers are written to hide from this quick check, so just because you don’t see more than one instance of winlogon.exe, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a keylogger installed.

Another indication that you should be concerned is if your CPU usage meter (click on the “Performance” tab) is showing a lot of activity even though you just started your computer and you haven’t opened any programs yet.

Your CPU should be idling in the 2-3 percent range with no programs (other than “Task Manager”) open.

While you are reviewing the performance charts, take a look at the physical memory usage to see if you need more memory (RAM). If the blue line in the “Usage History” is half way up or higher, adding more RAM should provide you with a noticeable improvement in speed.

• Ken Colburn is president of Data Doctors Computer Services and host of the Data Doctors Radio Program, noon Saturdays on KTAR 92.3 FM or at www.datadoctors.com/radio.

More about

More about

  • Discuss

NCPDP Announces Call for Proposals for its 2017 Annual Technology & Business Conference

Deadline to submit a proposal is September 2, 2016 SCOTTSDALE, AZ (PRWEB) June 27, 2016 NCPDP announced today the call for proposals for its 2…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 10:49 am @ http://www.bioportfolio.com/news/article/2758928/N…

Morning Break: Doc Suicide Film; Stop That or You'll Go Blind; Insulin Pump Anger

"Physicians have the highest rate of suicide among any profession": Pamela Wible, MD, is raising funds for a documentary on the phenomenon. Th…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 10:04 am @ http://www.medpagetoday.com/Psychiatry/Depression/58769

16 Moments That Led Democrats to Stop Playing Scared on Guns

When then-Senator and Democratic frontrunner Barack Obama was caught on tape musing about “bitter” Americans who “cling to guns or religion” i…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 10:06 am @ https://www.thetrace.org/2016/06/democrats-vs-nra-…

Watch out Donald Trump, Arizona Might Just be Going for Hillary Clinton

Miriam Wasser A A Given the amount of love and attention Donald Trump has heaped on Arizona in the past year, you'd think he'd have the state …

Published: June 27, 2016 - 10:05 am @ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/watch-out-dona…

Ousted teachers learn a lesson: Don’t badmouth your kids online

Topics: Blackstone Valley Prep, Education, rhode island, Slack, Social Media, Life News “We can all blow off steam, right?” observes the fathe…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 10:02 am @ http://www.salon.com/2016/06/27/ousted_teachers_ge…

“I can’t believe you’re supporting Donald Trump”: Jan Brewer stuns Martin O’Malley with refusal to acknowledge Trump’s campaign of bigotry

Topics: Bigotry, CNN, Donald Trump, Election 2016, Elections 2016, Jan Brewer, Martin O’Malley, Racism, Video, Video News, Elections News, Med…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 9:03 am @ http://www.salon.com/2016/06/27/i_cant_believe_you…

Racist incidents in the wake of Brexit won't be tolerated, warns David Cameron

Driving in Canada Canada - a home away from home Canada, it's time to change! Living with a disability in Indo-Canadian society The empire str…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 9:07 am @ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Ra…

Americans are paying more to live in the very places they once abandoned

America's urban downtowns were neglected for decades, abandoned for newer malls in the suburbs and bigger homes on the edge of town. The const…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 9:06 am @ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/0…

How Following Your Bliss Can Lead to Better Business

Are you following your bliss? Are you working on what you’re most passionate about? Have you been willing to let go of all of your comforts an…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 9:02 am @ http://www.convinceandconvert.com/podcasts/episode…

Trying to get Maricopa County to respond to a privacy concern? Good luck with that!

As I’ve lamented (ok, bitched) many times: trying to notify an entity of a privacy or data security concern can be time-consuming and frustrat…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 8:48 am @ https://www.databreaches.net/trying-to-get-maricop…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…