Virtual Keyboards Can Protect Against Keyloggers, Spyware

By Posted 2005 Updated   Security

Virtual Keyboards can protect against Keyloggers and Spyware. It is not safe to enter personal data, passwords and secret information on public computers and internet cafes, because someone might have installed spyware which could track your keystrokes like keyloggers.

I am sure of the security of my computer by periodic running of antispyware tools and antivirus software. But in public computers like those at internet cafes, libraries etc. you cannot be sure some keylogger is recording your keystrokes. These software can secretly monitor and get a detailed record of whatever you type and it does not need much effort to track your passwords and other secure information.

You cannot always get hold of a anti-keylogger or keylogger removal sofware. In such situations I use the virtual on-screen keyboard to type my secure personal information like usernames and passwords.

Use Virtual Keyboards

Have you seen the virtual on-screen keyboard found on my Windows XP. This keyboard can be accessed from Start>All Programs>Accessories> Accessibility>On-Screen Keyboard in windows XP.

The main purpose of this keyboard is for mobility impaired users (who cannot type on the keyboard due to disability, but can use the mouse)

I enter the usernames and passwords using this keyboard and even if there are any spyware logging keystrokes, they will not get hold of my private information. Why? because you will enter this information by mouse clicks and not keystrokes.

virtual keyboard

This screenshot above shows how this virtual keyboard is being used for my gmail login. Once I login, I type emails as I normally do. This works not only for online form filling, but also for all offline activities, because keyloggers will not rest and track all keystrokes.

I highly recommend that you use this technique for safety and privacy of your information on public computers. It takes a little effort, is free and easily accessible from you computer with no extra download. Better be safe than sorry!


11 comments on “Virtual Keyboards Can Protect Against Keyloggers, Spyware

  1. Shane Coffey (Cellounge Admin) says:

    You really can not be sure that some type of undiscovered spyware is not on your computer extracting your personal information even with this on screen keyboard. I use spybot S&D, I also use ad-aware, and there is the free virus scanner by AVG. Even with all three I still get spyware, viruses, adware. I have to run all of them everyday to make sure my computer was clean.

  2. Derek says:

    I purposely installed a few keyloggers on one of my computers and any activity was recorded. Most of the the keyloggers out there will also record mouse programs, windows, and mouse clicks.

  3. Joel says:

    You can type ‘osk’ to pull this up, BTW.

  4. Anonymous says:

    some keyloggers take screen pics every time you click the mouse, so evan osk has its down sides

  5. Anonymous says:

    VKeyboard is safe for now. Until a keylog that attacks this appears.

  6. Arturo Goga says:

    doesn’t work. Keyloggers still detect the input made through OSK. Just download any keylogger and check it out. (Just go to download.com, and download the first or second keylogging program)

  7. LFT says:

    This won’t work against many keyloggers. Search Google for “keyloggers” and then read the lists of features.

    An alternative is to use a Linux live CD to bypass all the malware on the drive. With a Linux live CD you have a portable operating system that you know is clean on every boot.

  8. Andreas says:

    The service at http://kyps.net is specifically designed to effectively hide your password from spyware-infected computers. The protection is effective against software and hardware spyware of any kind.

    Note: This is not an ad, as kyps is a free, non-commercial service.

  9. Daniel Morin says:

    The virtual on-screen keyboard does NOT bypass keyloggers. The OST.exe emulates keyboard actions with standard messages such as WM_KEYDOWN and WM_KEYUP. Worse, you can hook the keyboard events and record them EXACTLY as if they were typed on a hard keyboard.

  10. admin_papa says:

    Hi Folks!

    Just wanted to share my new experience.

    If your system fails to start due to an error corresponding to lost HAL.DLL, invalid Boot.ini or any other critical system boot files you can fix this by using the XP installation CD. Just boot from your XP Setup CD and enter the Recovery Console. Then launch “attrib -H -R -S” on the C:\Boot.ini file and delete it. Launch “Bootcfg /Rebuild” and then Fixboot

    Regards,
    Carl

  11. listerne says:

    Don’t worry about keyloggers collecting mouse clicks or taking pictures at every keystroke…that’s not what happens. Can you imagine, for instance, how LARGE the file would be that collects pictures of the screen for every mouse click? It is not practical to do that or to hide it or to transmit it back.

    DO worry, however, about keyloggers intercepting the output from virtual keyboards. MOST virtual keyboards are worthless for this. In fact, you can prove this yourself. Go to zemana.com (they make an antilogger) & download their test program. Now call up the windows virtual keyboard and you’ll see the characters recorded in the test program.

    There IS good news, though, and it doesn’t involve buying the Zemana program (though it is about the best protection out there). Instead, go to download.com and search for the freeware Antikeylogger Virtual Keyboard. Download & install it THEN repeat the zemana test. You’ll see that the keystrokes are NOT recorded. Kinda cool, huh?

    Bottom-line: don’t believe what you read on the internet (especially, evidently, here). Test it yourself.

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