A keylogger is a useful tool if you need to keep tabs of your employees, a cheating girlfriend or boyfriend, or your children. They are effective, easy to use and can make an instant hacker out of any computer neophyte. The trick is getting it installed onto a machine that you might not have access to. There are several tricks to doing this that aren't terribly complicated.
Choose and install a keylogger that best suits your needs. There are a number of programs available out there, but most of them require you to have direct access to the computer in order to install it. Once you've installed it, you will need to manually configure it in order to send you the logs. One of the more popular programs that can be installed via e-mail is called "SpyRecon Complete," which is available at SecretView.com.
Install the program and configure it. You will need to tell the program which e-mail you would like to have the logs sent to. To do this, launch the program and then go to "Settings" and "Report Sending." You can put in an e-mail address and the frequency you would like to have them sent. You can also have them sent via FTP.
Attach it as an e-mail and send it. This is the only way to get a keylogger onto a computer if you have no access to it via a network or a direct line to it via the internet through remote control software. You can attach the program just like any other e-mail attachment. If you're using a web-based application like Gmail, click on "Compose e-mail" and "Attach File," then find which folder you placed the program in, double click on it and click "Open." One problem with this approach is that many spam filters will give warnings about executable files attached to an e-mail. To get the program through the filter, you can embed the file into a document like word and then attach the document to the problem. The second problem you may encounter is that most people know not to download attachments unless they are from a trusted source. So you may have to use the keylogger to get into the e-mail account of someone you know the recipient trusts. Label the attachment as a file that the receiver would be interested in such as "Photos" so that you are sure they will download it. Once it is downloaded, the program will automatically install itself and send you an e-mail confirming its installation. This all takes place in the background invisibly.
Install the keylogger using remote software. This is only possible if at some point you have access to the computer that you want to monitor. If you do, then you can install software from GoToMyPC.com that will allow you to control the computer via remote through any computer connected to the internet. Once you've installed it, you can log on to GoToMyPC.com from any computer and you will be able to control it as if you were sitting in front of it. This way, you can install a keylogger directly to it even if you are thousands of miles away.
Install the keylogger over a network. The problem with this is that you will need to have system administrator privileges or be able to get access to the user ID and password to get it. So it's possible that you can use the keylogger for this initially and then install it over the network. To do this, go to "Network," find the name of the computer that you would like to install the keylogger on and double click on it. Drag and drop the application to the desktop and install it. Again, you will need to configure the application to send the logs to an e-mail address and you will probably want to put it in stealth mode so that the computer's user will not find it.
While keyloggers are technically not illegal, you do need to be careful as they are ethically questionable. If you use one, you are invading someone else's privacy. Ask yourself if it's justifiable and whether you would want somebody using a keylogger against you.
Tips and warnings
- While keyloggers are technically not illegal, you do need to be careful as they are ethically questionable. If you use one, you are invading someone else's privacy. Ask yourself if it's justifiable and whether you would want somebody using a keylogger against you.