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Question

Keylogger

by newbie8 / April 6, 2012 3:01 AM PDT

I have a Mac. If someone put a keylogger on my machine, would it survive if I had the computer wiped clean and a new operating system installed? I know nothing about computers. Thanks for your help.

Also, is it possible for all computers in a household to be infected with a keylogger via wireless if one is affected by a up-or-downloaded keylogger programme.

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All Answers

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Answer
Wiping the hard drive and re-installing the OS
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / April 6, 2012 3:11 AM PDT
In reply to: Keylogger

will remove any nasties on your computer.

Keyloggers are normally installed by someone sitting in front of the computer and having the password required to install software.

P

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Keylogger
by newbie8 / April 6, 2012 10:13 AM PDT

I have a personal Mac desktop (not a laptop). I am just worried about my kids' friends installing something - or my insecure boyfriend for that matter.

Nobody knows any of my passwords. Could somebody do this with their own password? Obviously I know nothing about computers.

So, does that mean if I took the computer to the Mac store and they wiped the whole thing off and installed a new operating system, that I don't have to worry about this?

Thank you so much for your help.

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You would not have to worry, up to a point.
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / April 7, 2012 3:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Keylogger

That point being when the computer came back to the house and your insecure boyfriend or your kids friends were still there.

Here is a way to prevent access.

Create an account for yourself on the computer. Make sure it is an Administrator account.
Make an account for the boyfriend and one for the kids.
Make sure those accounts are NOT Administrator accounts.

Depending on what version of OS X you are using, you will find the option of making an account an Admin one in the User & Groups preference pane inside System Preferences.
The choice is either at the very beginning of the "make a new account" procedure or partway through. The latter will be a check box that says, Allow user to administer this computer" (or words to that effect)

Once done, make sure that you LOG OUT of your account every time you leave the computer unattended. The BF and Kids will only be able to access their own accounts and will not be able to install software.
Do NOT allow your password to become known. Make it contain Upper, Lower, numbers and the odd special character.

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Answer
If the owners know nothing about computers
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 6, 2012 3:17 AM PDT
In reply to: Keylogger

You can usually trick them into installing it again. So yes it survives because the owners will reinstall the app.

It's pretty rare for a keylogger to infect an Apple. All the infections I have encountered were from folk installing the bad app. This may change with that JAVA issue but then again, we opted to run that code and JAVA?

The keylogger we use at the office survives because it's in hardware. Otherwise it could be uninstalled by a wipe.
Bob

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