Is Big Brother watching what you type on your Mac’s keyboard? If you work in a business that uses Macs, does your company utilize a keylogger to track what you enter on the keyboard? After trying out a few keyloggers I found Perfect Keylogger to be attractive and useful in the right situation. Is it perfectly legal and ethical?
Simply put, keystroke logging is the practice of logging the keys on your keyboard, Mac or PC. It’s usually done in a covert manner, and, in the case of PC malware, someone using the keyboard may not be aware that the keystrokes are being logged and monitored.
There are all kinds of keyloggers, especially in the PC world. Some are legitimate utilities that a business may install to ensure that PC users comply with certain policies, and as a protection against misuse of equipment or information.
Kernel-based keyloggers may be particularly Big Brother oriented:
This method is difficult both to write and to combat. Such keyloggers reside at the kernel level and are thus difficult to detect, especially for user-mode applications. They are frequently implemented as rootkits that subvert the operating system kernel and gain unauthorized access to the hardware, making them very powerful. A keylogger using this method can act as a keyboard driver for example, and thus gain access to any information typed on the keyboard as it goes to the operating system.
On The Other Hand
Some very legitimate reasons may require the installation of a keylogger on a Mac. Perfect Keylogger describes a few:
Perfect Keylogger is a covert surveillance tool created for everybody! With this Mac spy software you can secretly record their keystrokes, IM chats, websites visited and screenshots. Covert surveillance on Mac – as easy as never before! Some applications of the keylogger: parental controls; employee monitoring; stealth monitoring of your spouse.
At a basic level, Perfect Keylogger and friends capture Mac keystrokes, not as a back up for a file that might get lost while typing, though that’s a good idea and the ultimate undo, but for covert, secret requirements.
Literally, a keylogger monitors what goes through the keyboard.
This is the only Mac keylogger offering a complete set of monitoring features. The current version 1.76 invisibly records keystrokes typed, IM chats (both ways), websites visited and makes screenshots. It also fully supports email notifications and can upload all logs by FTP or iDisk.
Is It Perfect?
The list of features for the Mac’s premier keystroke logger is impressive, all with stealth monitoring and reporting in mind.
- Invisible mode; undetectable surveillance
- One click installation; no rebooting
- Logs keystrokes by application used
- Records chat conversations and browser pages
- Emails log files automatically (or FTP)
You get the idea, right? Perfect Keylogger hides, records keystrokes, sends logs to Big Brother. Is it legal and or ethical? There may be some legal issues as state laws vary. Ethically, it could also pose a problem unless employees or family members (whose keystrokes are logged) are told in advance that what they type is being recorded.
There are a few caveats to Perfect Keylogger’s perfect list of features. It does not record passwords. Apparently, that capability is reserved for Abby on NCIS who always manages to guess login ID’s or passwords within minutes.