Why Use Anti-Keylogger Software?
The top performers in our review are Zemana AntiLogger, the Gold Award winner; SpyShelter, the Silver Award winner; and Keylogger Detector, the Bronze Award winner. Here's more on choosing a program to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of these anti-keyloggers.
Keylogging software is malware that captures your keystrokes and sends them to hackers. This enables them to discern important personal and financial information such as login credentials, banking and tax information, Social Security numbers, and everything else you type into your computer. This opens you up to numerous threats, identity theft chief among them. If hackers can get ahold of your personally identifying information, they can open credit accounts in your name, hijack your social media accounts and sell your information to the highest bidder.
Some keyloggers can even take over your webcam and turn it on without you knowing. They can then spy on you personally, capturing private moments. Many also have the ability to capture the contents of your clipboard when you cut, copy and paste text, images and more. Others still can capture what's happening on your computer screen in real time. These abilities combined are the ultimate voyeurism tools – virtual Peeping Toms watching everything you do with your computer.
Anti-keylogging software can shield you from these types of threats. By encrypting your keystrokes, all hackers will receive is garbled, unintelligible data from which they can glean no useful information. Anti-keyloggers can also protect your clipboard and webcam from being hijacked by malware creators.
It's important to note that not all keyloggers are malware. Some are intentionally placed on computers by employers, parents and system administrators. They may do this to track computer usage for completely valid reasons. However, anti-keylogging software can't distinguish one from the other. So be careful if you're on a computer owned by someone else, like your employer, because you may inadvertently compromise what the owner is trying to do. To learn more about keyloggers and privacy issues, see our articles about anti-keylogger software.
Key Attributes of Anti-Keylogger Software
Below are the criteria we used to rate and rank the best anti-keylogger software on the market today.
The chief function of any anti-keylogging software is to protect you from the most dangerous threats posed by keyloggers. Some anti-keyloggers accomplish this by simply encrypting your keystrokes. Others have the ability to scan for these keylogging programs, and the best anti-keyloggers can also remove them from your system entirely.
One of the biggest threats posed by keyloggers is their ability to steal your login credentials, allowing hackers to access your passwords, financial accounts and more. This can result in your online identity being stolen. The best anti-keyloggers pay particular attention to keeping this information safe. All the ones we reviewed shield your passwords in one way or another. So whichever anti-keylogger you choose, you'll know that your passwords and other login credentials are safe.
The best anti-keylogging software has the ability to stop hackers from turning on your webcam without you knowing. It also prevents hackers from stealing the information on your clipboard, which you do not type in manually.
Keystroke encryption is the first and last line of defense against keylogging software. Encrypting what you type keeps keyloggers from intercepting your personal information, because all they'll receive is indecipherable data. This is the most important tool in keeping your personal information private.
Some of the anti-keylogging software we reviewed only has the ability to shield you from the direst threats posed by keyloggers. Only the best anti-keylogging software has the ability to actually remove this kind of malware from your machine. If you buy a product that doesn't have this ability, make sure to use it in conjunction with a full-fledged anti-malware program.
Another feature we look for in this category is the ability to restrict applications that have keylogging features. This allows you to keep using programs you want to keep on your machine and bypass their keylogger tools. Additionally, the ability to clean your browser history is an important feature to protect your sensitive information.
Some of the anti-keyloggers we reviewed only encrypt keystrokes and have no ability to detect malware already on your machine. The best anti-keylogger software in our review gives you the ability to scan specific files and folders or every single file on your computer for keyloggers. Additionally, the best programs allow you to schedule scans for times when your computer isn't actively being used.
An anti-keylogger should keep a log of all of its activities so you can review the results of past scans if necessary. Logs also let you see which safe programs may be being flagged as keyloggers so you can fine-tune your anti-keylogger's behavior.
There are times when keyloggers are overly sensitive to certain activities on your computer. This can result in annoying false positives that interrupt your computer experience. The ability to adjust the sensitivity of your anti-keylogger allows you to make your program less heavy-handed and allow safe activities.
Help & Support
There may be times when you'll need help with your anti-keylogging program. The best programs allow you to email their creators through their official websites. You usually have to wait a day or two for them to respond. However, you can usually solve most problems by consulting the FAQs section on their websites.
Our Verdict & Recommendations
After our evaluation of the best anti-keylogging software, the following programs earned the top spots on our side-by-side comparison chart.
Zemana AntiLogger earned the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award because it has nearly everything we look for in this category. It not only encrypts your keystrokes, protects your password and identity being hijacked, but also scans your computer for keyloggers and removes them if found. Unfortunately, it lost the ability to shield your webcam and clipboard from hackers. We would like to see this ability restored in future updates.
SpyShelter ranked second on our side-by-side comparison chart. It has most of what we look for, but it's missing the ability to scan specific files or perform a deep system scan for keyloggers. It's also quite heavy-handed in what it flags as threats, but you can fine-tune its rules to allow safe programs to run.
Keylogger Detector does a fine job of finding and removing keyloggers from your computer. However, it does not encrypt your keystrokes. So if a keylogger is on your computer and the software misses it, your passwords, clipboard and webcam are all at risk. It also lacks the ability to schedule scans for a particular time – like overnight when you're not using your computer.
Keyloggers can spy on nearly everything you do on your computer. They can intercept everything you type, steal your personal and financial information, and hijack your webcam. A top-notch anti-keylogger program can protect you from the worst damage these programs can cause both to your computer and your personal life.
Contributing Reviewer: Danny Chadwick