There are more advanced ways to keep tabs on someone’s computer activity. If you’re not having any luck searching traces of past activity, there are ways to generate a record of the process of a user’s activity. It is even possible to remotely access that record and be alerted to any activity immediately after it occurs.
recording is done all before the computer itself processes the input. The result is not pretty, but this text file will contain all sorts of juicy details, such as passwords and login details that only appear as hidden symbols on the user’s screen.
Key loggers work at the level of basic computer operations, so it is necessary that when the user inputs various keystrokes, the logger will output all of the “codes” associated with the keystrokes of special characters (so, for example, it will indicate that the user has pressed the Shift key to specify a capital letter). Some key logging software has more advanced features, such as a function that streamlines the keystroke log so that you are able to read it more coherently.
But as any master spy will tell you, there is a potential drawback in that some of the vital details may be lost in translation, and sometimes it just pays to do the extra deciphering work.
The most important factor to consider when implementing key logging software is that it will be absolutely and completely undetectable to the user who is being watched.
When someone installs software on a computer, it usually shows up in a list of “programs” or “applications” that is easily accessible from the start menu. Good key logging software is designed so that it will not show up here as installed – which would, of course, defeat the whole point of the exercise.
Another way that users view what programs are operating AS they are working at the machine is by opening the Task Manager. Pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete will open the Task Manager.
In MAC computers, it’s called the “Activity Monitor,” and can be found through the Applications, then Utilities menu. Good key logging software will also hide itself from detection here as well. There are a couple ways for you to access this treasure trove of data after your key logger has mined it for you.
The first is through the same computer on which the software is installed. You will be able to set up your own password (usually a sequence of keystrokes) that will allow you to move back and forth from the secret surveillance mode that watches and records another user, to an administrator mode, in which you can read and review their input. It is also possible with some software to access the log data remotely.
It sets up their system so that a record of their activity is instantly generated and sent to you via email, all in good stealth, so to speak. This record is delivered to you in the form of “activity reports” that can include the user’s emails, online chat and instant messages, and websites viewed in addition to keystrokes.
You can set the interval at which you want to receive the reports. And, in the rare event that the person you are spying is also spying in you, you will find out right away when you start seeing your own emails sent back your way!