Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

A quick question: I use on-screen keyboard when entering my bank passwords, credit card numbers, etc., in an effort to guard against malware. Is this a good idea or am I wasting my time? Some internet banking website have an on-screen keyboard for entering in a password are these any more secure?

share|improve this question
up vote 12 down vote accepted

The built-in on-screen keyboard that comes with many operating systems is designed to help people who are unable to use a physical keyboard because of disabilities. Due to this, an on-screen keyboard behaves as much like a real keyboard as possible and it's activity will most likely be logged by a keylogger.

On-screen keyboards specifically designed for security (on a bank's website, for example) are a different story and are likely more secure against keyloggers.

http://www.viruslist.com/en/analysis?pubid=204791931

share|improve this answer
    
Thank you, I had an inkling but I wasn't sure but “More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity” – Matt 'Trouble' Esse Aug 27 '09 at 2:12

On-screen keyboards prevent a keyboard dongle from recording your keystrokes. There are other methods for recording keystrokes an on-screen keyboard will not prevent, though.

share|improve this answer
    
The bank ones that I've seen tend to move the keyboard button position around a bit on each login so the relative mouse position changes, making it hard to know what buttons a user clicked on. – Matthew Lock Dec 18 '09 at 5:40

Using an on-screen keyboard would make your password readable by people with no connection to your computer. :D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Eck_phreaking

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TEMPEST#Public_research

share|improve this answer

Note that an OSK is not secured against things that also track mouse movements, though figuring out what you clicked is much harder. I like to keep parts of my password in autohotkey hotstrings. (because "password" is so much easier to work out than "p66j#wokk#d")

share|improve this answer
1  
If your OSK changes its layout every few characters--which is annoying, mouse movements become harder to track--now images of the screen have to be saved too. – Broam Dec 11 '09 at 16:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .