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Is there a way to make sure that my keystrokes (for passwords) are not being tracked? I need to change my passwords and was wondering if there is a way to make it so that my keystrokes are not being recorded.

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marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, AthomSfere, and31415, Tog, Paul May 5 '14 at 14:06

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Boot from a live Disk, check your current OS for no unknown processes or services. – AthomSfere May 4 '14 at 16:42
I do not have a live disk. How do i check the current OS for unknown processes or services? – Robin May 4 '14 at 16:48
Depending on your type of keyboard, it might also get intercepted by a hardware keylogger or tracked via radio frequency emissions:… – Axel Kemper May 4 '14 at 18:59

The only way to do this is to ensure that there is no malware or rogue hardware on or attached to your PC.

First you need to be sure that there is no rogue hardware attached to the PC. Unlikely if you have your own PC in a trusted environment but highly likely to occur when using Internet Cafe hardware, especially in certain countries.

Then, as @AthomSfere says, the safest way is to download a Live CD/DVD, burn to disk (could be a USB drive if you don't have a CD/DVD drive, just make sure you only burn the boot disk to it and make it read-only), boot to it and use that. You can then be 100% certain.

If that isn't an option, you should Google for the latest anti-malware tools, run a selection of them to be reasonably ensure that your PC is clean. The collection of software for doing that is pretty steep but below is a short selection of possibles.

  • AVAST Free, Anti-Virus. Great tool, you can also go for the paid option with more features including an application white-listing mode which, when well configured, will make your system as secure as it is possible to be (bit of a pain to maintain though unless you only use a small set of software)
  • Microsoft EMET, a Windows system hardening tool from Microsoft, make sure you follow the instructions for a basic configuration
  • SuperAntiSpyware, check your system for unwelcome "guests". There is a portable version which I recommend
  • Malwarebytes, similar to the above, worth running both. Can be uninstalled once run.
  • You may want something to clean up outdated software or adware and the like.
    • SlimClean - Straight-forwards to use, has a crowed-sourced knowledge base. Can be uninstalled after use
    • BleachBit - recommended by security expert Bruce Schneier, is portable so no installation required, has a Linux version too.
    • or the old school CCleaner may all be used.

Always use several tools in each category but only run one at a time - For Anti-Virus, only use one unless you are prepared to uninstall to use another.

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You forgot: Check for video cameras - either installed in your house/office or in the form of the cellphone that guy/gal near you is holding and pretending to be engrossed by Twitter on while you type in your password... – Ecnerwal May 4 '14 at 17:41
Ha, good one @Ecnerwal! It pays to be paranoid! – Julian Knight May 4 '14 at 17:44
Even if you boot from a live CD, you cannot be 100% certain. You're implicitly trusting that the live CD itself isn't bugged (and wasn't developed using bugged development tools; – jamesdlin May 4 '14 at 20:19
Obviously a point to remember. However, there are some live CD's that have been around a long time and so are highly trusted. In addition, it is theoretically possible for the writing process to be hacked too. Especially with USB pen drives. If you are that paranoid, the place to start is a brand new PC and a retail CD/DVD. But you are really moving into the realm of Government high-security now, most people will never need that level of paranoia. – Julian Knight May 4 '14 at 21:06
Watch out for a phone lying next to the keyboard. There have been successful studies recovering typed text from the sound of the key presses. And also vibrations (measured with an accelerometer+gyro) have been used similarly (mentioned in episode 323 of the podcast Security now) – hlovdal May 4 '14 at 22:17

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