If you suspect that someone has gained access to your logins and passwords, chances are, there is a keylogger in your OS. Technically, this software is legal, and you can use it to monitor the actions of your children, for example. However, in the hands of hackers, it turns into a powerful tool for stealing credentials. Let us take a quick look at how keyloggers work and how a regular user can keep the cyber criminals at bay.
What is Keylogger?
Keylogging is a technique that hackers use to copy (or log) the keystrokes of the user and thus, extracting bank account details and other sensitive data. The so-called Kernel keyloggers are very hard to detect, as they “hide” themselves deep inside the operating system. Some of the more advanced crime-ware can even find its way into your antivirus’s list of exclusions (the whitelist).
This is partially why regular antivirus products aren’t always effective against this type of spyware. You need a specific tool to get rid of it – an anti-keylogger. They have only one task: to scan, detect, and eliminate rootkit malware.
It’s important to note that while there are dozens of free anti-keyloggers, they aren’t nearly as good as the paid solutions. First of all, they have limited capabilities and features. Secondly, free software is almost always spying on the users and sharing personal information with third parties (to compensate the expenses). And finally, free solutions are not updated often enough. Therefore, they can’t spot the newest versions of keyloggers.
The following list includes the best offers on the market right now (both free and paid), and, as you can see, three out of five anti-keyloggers are actually antivirus products. They are excellent at defeating keyloggers and will protect your entire system from all kinds of malware.
The List of Top 5 Keyloggers
1 – Kaspersky Internet Security
Kaspersky is a highly capable antivirus, one of the apparent leaders. According to company officials, Internet Security is the most popular edition around the world. It comes with a robust built-in anti-keylogger and will make sure your OS is safe and sound. The entry-level edition of Kaspersky Antivirus doesn’t offer protection against loggers.
Is It Good?
Currently, you can get Internet Security for 60 dollars (1 Device, 1 Year). True, compared to the free tools, this doesn’t look like a financially justified purchase. However, it is a complete antivirus suite and will protect you from every single online threat, including ransomware, phishing, etc.
Furthermore, it is available on all major platforms, including Win, Mac, iOS, and Android. As a leading developer, Kaspersky always puts the needs of the users first, and with this software, you can relax knowing that your passwords, logins, and any corporate data is well-protected. Whenever you enter a login/password in a field, the antivirus automatically activates a virtual keyboard that makes it impossible for hackers to steal it.
And if you aren’t ready to pay $60 for Internet Security, check out the TDSSKiller. This tool is available for free and is fantastic at fighting bootkits and rootkits.
2 – Norton Power Eraser
You need to be careful with this one, as it has the kill-first-ask-later approach. Power Eraser is known to delete legitimate apps and files without asking the user’s permission. Thankfully, you can always take a look at the logs and restore any programs/files that you know are not infected. Fans of MacOS and other operating systems are out of luck, as this tool only available for Windows OS.
Is It Good?
Compared to other anti-loggers on our list, Power Eraser is the most aggressive one. It is a decent choice for detecting and getting rid of deeply embedded spy-/crime-ware that regular antiviruses won’t be able to eliminate. So, if you’re confident that there’s a keylogger in your computer, but no anti-logger could find anything, give Norton’s tool a go – it might just bring your PC back to life.
Power Eraser is very lightweight and doesn’t put a strain on the CPU or the RAM. And, the scans complete in no time, meaning you won’t have to wait for half an hour. Norton is giving out Power Eraser for free: you can download it from the official website. It won’t conflict with any antivirus software that’s already installed on the device.
A quick note: sometimes, the malware takes over a computer to the extent that it prevents any anti-malware tools from launching. If that’s the case, we recommend running the OS in Safe Mode and then activating this tool. Hopefully, it will take care of all the threats. The user interface is very friendly: you won’t have any problems with it.
3 – McAfee Rootkit Remover
McAfee is one of the most respected names in the industry, and while Rootkit Remover is a free tool, it is highly effective. It is excellent at scanning the system and removing all the detected rootkit viruses, including keyloggers. The biggest downside – it is only compatible with the Windows operating system, just like Power Eraser. The good news is – you don’t have to install McAfee Rootkit Remover.
Just go to the official website, hit “Download,” and click on the RootkitRemover file – that’s it. We recommend running it in the Administrator mode to avoid any compatibility problems. The program will do everything automatically in a Command Prompt window. When the process is completed, restart the system and launch a scan in your antivirus.
Is It Good?
Here is a list of rootkits that this stand-alone tool can detect:
- TDSS Family
In the near future, the company is planning to add coverage of an even more extensive range of known (and brand-new) rootkit families. Rootkit Remover might not be as “fancy” as the premium tools, but it does get the job done. It runs smoothly on Windows XP, all the way up to Windows 10 and is compatible with both 32- and 64-bit systems. It was last updated in early 2016.
4 – Avast Pro Antivirus
Avast is another stand-out antivirus for the Microsoft OS. In third-party lab tests, it always scores well above average, and, overall, is a reliable product. Taking down spyware (including keyloggers) before it does any damage to the system – that’s what Avast is all about. Plus, the company offers a very flexible and affordable pricing policy, which is why this product is so popular.
Is It Good?
Here is a quick list of all the security features that you’ll get with Avast Pro:
- Password Manager
- Wi-Fi Inspector
- Behavior Shield
- Browser Cleanup
It’s important to note that this antivirus will try to install Chrome and Google Toolbar. Keep your eye on the installation wizard and make sure to uncheck both options. The free version is also decent, but it’s not nearly as feature-packed; plus, it will “attack” you with pop-up messages constantly.
5 – AVG
Did you know that the same company owns Avast and AVG? That’s true, and they also share the same antivirus engine, all of which makes them pretty similar to each other. Malware detection and elimination are one of this engine’s strongest suites. Still, there are some differences between the two, and they vary, depending on the edition.
Is It Good?
With AVG, you can count on:
- File Shredder
- Email Protection
- Web Protection
- Data Theft Protection
- Deep Scans (excellent at finding spyware hidden deep inside the system)
AVG doesn’t require the user to create an account (Avast does), and that’s a big pro. Plus, this antivirus has some of the fastest and most thorough scans on the market.
This is it for our list of the best anti-keylogger software in 2019. We picked some of the most effective and popular offers that have been around for a long time and have perfect reputations. As mentioned in the beginning, while free products can also be effective, it’s highly recommended to go with a paid anti-keylogger, especially if you’re logging into your accounts regularly.
The developers will make sure to keep your OS safe with constant updates; and, if you go with an antivirus, you’ll get comprehensive protection. It needs to be said that anti-keyloggers don’t see a difference between legit and dangerous keystroke-logging software. They see both as potentially hazardous and treat them accordingly. It is one of the critical differences between anti-keyloggers and antiviruses.