Are Your Keystrokes Being Recorded?

Think about everything you’ve downloaded to your PC over the past six months. Can you remember each program or file you downloaded, and where that download came from? Most likely not, and even if you can, you may have gotten more than you bargained for – in fact, you may be infected with spyware that can be used for keylogging.

What is Spyware?

Spyware is a program installed on your computer – with or without your permission – that can change system configurations, monitor your online activity and send that information back to cybercriminals for them to either sell to third parties or use for their own criminal activity. If your computer has been running slower than usual, your home pages have suddenly changed or you’re constantly seeing annoying pop-ups, your PC may be infected. The milder forms of spyware, known as adware, only cause increased spam and unwanted pop-ups, resulting in some minor annoyances. On the other end of the spectrum, the most harmful forms of spyware can collect, use and distribute your personal information – including banking passwords and credit card numbers – often by recording your keystrokes.

What is Keylogging?

Keylogging is a type of spyware program that records every keystroke made on the keyboard of a computer, captured in the order they are pressed. When in the hands of cybercriminals, keylogging can have disastrous effects – using your personal information, like login credentials and credit card information, for online fraud or identity theft. Through keylogging, cybercriminals can gain access to everything from usernames and passwords, to PIN codes and Social Security numbers. Worst of all, without the proper tools in place, this type of spyware can often go undetected as there are no obvious signs when a keylogging program is in use.

Malware writers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, combining traditional forms of spyware with traditional viruses, and often disguising their spyware and keylogging programs as legitimate pieces of software. As a result, it can be difficult for some anti-spyware programs to accurately detect malicious keylogging software. Be sure to choose an anti-virus/anti-spyware program that can accurately label keylogging programs as spyware or a virus.

But I Don’t Download Unsafe Programs…

Even if you are careful when browsing the Internet and downloading software programs or other files, spyware can infiltrate your PC. Unfortunately, malicious applications are often bundled as a hidden component of free software or shareware programs that can be downloaded from both third-party and legitimate sites – meaning everyone is at risk.

The most common methods of spyware infection are through exploits of unpatched operating systems, Web browsers and software programs. Unfortunately, if you’re still using Windows XP, that can also put you at a higher risk. Microsoft no longer distributes security patches for the operating system, so any existing security vulnerabilities that are found will not be patched. If malware authors find a vulnerability in the system, they can and will exploit it knowing that it won’t be fixed.

How Can I Protect Myself?

Of course, just like staying safe from real-world crime, the best way to protect against cybercrime is to use common sense. Don’t click on suspicious links, always check the URL before logging into a site (phishing sites often look identical to their legitimate counterparts), change your password across different sites, don’t open emails from unknown senders and always keep your anti-virus and anti-spyware software updated. At a minimum, make sure your PC is armed with the right tools to keep your information safe – anti-virus and anti-spyware software (such as the security offered in Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +, Ad-Aware Personal Security and Ad-Aware Pro Security), and a two-way firewall are the bare necessities for protecting your computer. To ensure all your bases are covered, consider an all-in-one security solution, such as Ad-Aware Total Security, which provides anti-malware, a firewall, anti-spam, anti-phishing, and much more – ensuring complete online protection.

CJA2014 end

$45m raised for the Montreal Community

We did it.

With Stephen Bronfman at the helm of this year’s Combined Jewish Appeal campaign, we raised $45.2m for the neediest in our community and worldwide.

I was proud to chair this year’s Sephardic Campaign and even prouder to work with the most committed and fun team I’ve had the pleasure to deal with:   Arlene Abitan, Neil Uditsky, Helene Amar-Langburt, Karen Aflalo and Kat Issenman.

Thank-you also to all the generous donors that have made this year’s campaign so successful and who dig in their pockets to make the life of others so much better.

You can read the CJN Summary here:

Great Reviews for Ad-Aware 11

Ad-Aware 11 has definitely brought us back to the antivirus map. We have been receiving extremely positive review from various influential editors from a number of our download partners. We are overjoyed with the pleasant feedback!

Here are some of the reviews we received from all over the globe since the launch:


Image5 Stars – “Spectacular! We’d go so far as to recommend their toolbar!”


soft5 Stars – “Ad-Aware beat all the other applications with a 99.7% success rate.”

CHIP Online
chip5 Stars – “Tracks the current most widespread spyware tools.”

commss    5 Stars – “Effective protection without conflicts and slowdowns that can occur when using multiple vendors.”


tamin      5 Stars – “Ad-Aware Free Antivirus + offers users a full-fledged security solution.”


monk5 Stars – “A secure and reliable protection tool from viruses, ads and spyware programs…”

Giga Software

giga 5 stars – “Continuous protection from identity theft”

html4.5 Stars – “A reliable double scanning engine and it’s free!”


techhack4.5 Stars – “It detects viruses and malware effectively on infected laptops and desktops… with fast scan times.”


01net         4 Stars – “This latest version features a new, more fluid interface, providing faster access to different functions.”


softonic       4 Stars – “Antivirus engine is efficient and lightweight with anti -spyware engine is one of the best on the market!”

instalsski     4 Stars – “Effective anti-virus program running in real time.”






OPSWAT Certification for Ad-Aware 11

In February, we received another great appraisal and recognition. This time, OPSWAT has awarded several of Lavasoft’s signature products an OPSWAT Certification.

Ad-Aware 11 products, Free Antivirus+, Personal Security and Pro Security have received the OPSWAT Certification in Gold and Silver. They are now compatible with leading technology solutions that employ the OESIS Framework and will be visible on their management consoles.

OPSWAT Certification validates that security applications are compatible with leading network and technology solutions, so that users experience fewer issues. A high level of compatibility for security applications is important for home users and students, system administrators, and software vendors.

Here are some of the certifications we received:


Lavasoft Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ 11.x – Gold Antispyware
Lavasoft Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ 11.x — Gold Antivirus
Lavasoft Ad-Aware Personal Security 11.x – Silver Antiphishing
Lavasoft Ad-Aware Personal Security 11.x – Gold Antispyware
Lavasoft Ad-Aware Personal Security 11.x – Gold Antivirus
Lavasoft Ad-Aware Pro Security 11.x – Silver Antiphishing
Lavasoft Ad-Aware Pro Security 11.x – Gold Antispyware
Lavasoft Ad-Aware Pro Security 11.x – Gold Antivirus

This is certainly another great achievement for the Lavasoft team!

All of our Ad-Aware products that received the new certifications can be found on Opswat’s blog. For more information, please click here