Most people believe hackers can “see” what’s on their screens. They believe that if there’s no one to see them typing in their password, it will be impossible for anyone to figure it out.
One big flaw in this theory is that it completely ignores the existence of keyloggers. Keyloggers are software installed on your computer and monitor every keyboard stroke you make. This is why hiding a password doesn’t work – it doesn’t monitor what pops on the screen but which keys on your keyboard you use.
Naturally, this is a massive cybersecurity concern, but you may be surprised to learn that this concept also has numerous beneficial applications. Read more to learn about both the positive and negative aspects of keylogging.
Before we proceed, it’s important to mention that keylogging may not be legal in your country. Even when used with the best intentions, in the eyes of the law, it may be considered a malicious practice. This is especially the case when done without the other party’s consent.
Benefits of keylogging
Like any other tech trend, keylogging is just a tool one can use for good and bad. While there are undeniably some privacy and ethical concerns behind this technology (even with good intentions), their practical use cannot be disputed. Here are some examples.
Protecting your children
Smartphones are one of the biggest concerns for every parent in the 21st century. They have an unlimited access to the internet, and even if you heavily restrict them, there are so many ways around these locks and blocks.
Some might argue that you can just “not give your kid a smartphone,” but this is not a great solution and may cause many issues.
First, it will make your child feel excluded from their peers (all of which will have access to smartphones).
Second, it will slow down their growth in the technological world. Let’s face it; there’s no returning to the pre-internet, pre-smartphone era. Trying to force your child to emulate your own childhood will make them lag behind their peers in the field of understanding technology. This will hamper their education and career progress in the near future, which you want to avoid at all costs.
In other words, smartphone tech is here to stay, and you need to find a way to ensure your kids are using it correctly. One of the most efficient ways to approach this is to look for apps that allow keylogging on Android devices.
While there are other, less invasive methods of handling this issue, with all the threats out there, it’s probably wise to take extra steps of precaution. Keystroking apps seem to be one of the most effective ways.
Gathering evidence for law enforcement
Not all hackers are anonymous, and there are a lot of those who are known to law enforcement. The only reason why they’re not already behind bars is because law enforcement is currently in the process of collecting evidence.
The problem with this diagnostic tool is that it will only be effective once you have a suspect and get legal permission to observe them.
The legal system must execute this process flawlessly. We all know that the judiciary system may refuse any evidence gathered against compliances and regulations. In other words, using keylogging for legal purposes is far more complex than it appears. Even its use for law enforcement is still in the legal gray area. Therefore, we might see an increased use when we get more regulation.
Less exploitable employee monitoring
While this is a highly unpopular measure, it shouldn’t be illegal or unethical. A lot of employers monitor their employees remotely. They use platforms like Hubstaff to observe their monitors and take random screenshots. The problem with this system is that it’s highly inefficient and prone to employee abuse.
There are so many ways in which an employee can trick the system. They could use dual monitors and make Hubstaff take screenshots on just one of them. They could also use a different device while playing a video game on their other computer or watching a Netflix series via their phone. Employees can pull off this deception with the right earbuds, even in a Zoom meeting. What makes you think they can’t trick a monitoring tool?
With the help of keylogging, this is much harder to fake.
There’s also the issue of the use of sensitive company information. Sometimes, you can’t afford to take any chances. If an employee is accessing a sensitive company mainframe, you do not want to take any chances. You see, you don’t have to use keylogging all the time. At the same time, having them on for some of these sensitive tasks can greatly boost your security.
More accurate debugging
Lastly, one of the biggest problems for developers is that they never know what happens with a program when it gets into clients’ hands. They can still monitor it, but their insight is limited unless they install keylogging software.
Some people are actively looking for bugs and exploits. Some users (like alpha and beta testers) deliberately try to find as many exploits as possible. However, a lot of people stumble upon them by mistake. With the help of keylogging software, you can uncover them far more accurately.
Disadvantages of keylogging
The disadvantages of keylogging are more prominent than its positive sides. Still, it would be irresponsible not to address them. Here’s why this technology is raising so much concern.
It’s a massive invasion of privacy.
This one doesn’t take too much explanation. Having someone else access your digital activity without your explicit consent is more than a worrying notion. We’re talking about your passwords, private correspondences, and such.
A big security risk
While this can be innocent when used ethically, you never know who can access this information. All this data will be available to your employer or parent, but who else has an insight? What happens if the person with insight loses their data or their account? This is just one of the worrying hypotheticals that you shouldn’t.
Use of keylogging in cybercrime
Let’s be completely honest and admit that the first time you heard the definition of keylogging, you didn’t immediately think of child protection or employee monitoring. The first idea that crossed your mind was probably the application of this in cybercrime, and it immediately sent shivers down your spine. While this sounds a bit apocalyptic, the fears regarding keylogging are by no means unfounded.
There’s a scene in a British TV series Sharpe, where the title character asks for one of their subordinates to lend them a lockpick and asks them to trust them. The character responds, “It’s hard to trust a person who asks you to lend them a lockpick.” It’s a similar thing with keylogging.
On the one hand, you are trying to convince your child or your employee that you trust them. At the same time, you’re installing what’s essentially spying software on their device. This is a problem that’s hard to overcome.
While keylogging is potentially dangerous, it also has numerous beneficial applications
Like any other tool, keylogging apps are not inherently good or bad. It’s how you use them that counts. If you use them to ensure your child’s safety on the internet, track the performance of your employees, and catch hackers, they will be an amazing asset.
On the other hand, one can also use them for less-than-honorable purposes. Even in that case, spreading awareness of this software type can increase overall safety in the digital world.