Not all keyloggers
are malicious. Many keylogging, surveillance and monitoring programs can have legitimate uses in contexts where an authorized user, business IT tech or administrator has knowingly installed them. Even a parent may use a keylogging program to record their children's online activities or a suspicious spouse might install one to keep track of their partner. It's the misuse of a keylogger (and similar software tools) that makes it's action malicious rather than the keylogger itself. Thus, security scanners may not detect all types of keylogging programs.
Since keylogging, surveillance and monitoring programs can have legitimate as well as malicious uses, there can be potential legal ramifications
when assisting someone with installing or removing these types of programs. Even a recommendation could be construed as a gray area some attorneys would not hesitate to explore in order to seek successful litigation. As such, most security forums will hesitate to get involved especially if the situation involves an employee/employer or domestic partner/marital dispute. My response is not intended to imply that any specific situation invokes legal concerns, but merely that it is impossible for us to make the determination as to the computer's ownership and who has what authority in any given situation.
If this is your computer and you believe the person who put the keylogger on the computer did so without legal authority, you should contact an attorney, your local law enforcement, and/or a qualified computer forensics specialist for program removal.
If you do not own the computer, it is best to speak with and ask the owner. If the computer is yours, you should speak with the person you suspect may have installed the program. In either case, a simple "Google search" for how to remove a program should yield the information you seek without jeopardizing another member of an Internet community help site. If you suspect a spouse or ex-spouse/partner and there is a history of abuse or violence, then you should contact local law enforcement authorities. Many police departments have a cyber crime unit which are staffed with experts who can examine your computer.
When legitimate keylogging programs are detected by anti-virus or anti-malware scanners, they are typically identifid as a "risk Tool
" or "suspicious
" due to its functionality, behavior and potential misuse by others. Anti-virus scanners cannot distinguish
between "good" and "malicious" use of such programs, therefore they may alert you, automatically remove them or in some cases may just ignore them, again due to the possibility of legal issues resulting from detecting a legitimate program.
Thank you for understanding.