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Protect IE and Firefox from keyloggers with KeyScrambler Personal

18 June 2012, Mike Williams

The best way to protect yourself from malware is of course to prevent it ever reaching your PC, but if something does slip through your defences then this doesn’t have to be the end.

KeyScrambler Personal, for instance, will encrypt any keystrokes within Internet Explorer and Firefox. And as a result it’ll keep your logon and other details safe, even if your system has been breached by a keylogger.

The program is straightforward to install, adding just a couple of browser addons and an extra system tray icon to your PC. But after a reboot, whatever you type within IE and Firefox is encrypted at the keyboard driver level, then decrypted when it reaches the application. Everything looks the same to you, but if a keylogger is running then it won’t be able to capture your keystrokes.

If you do have any occasional issues with KeyScrambler than it can be temporarily disabled with a keypress

That’s the theory, at least: it’s at least possible that malware could bypass KeyScrambler’s protection (though that wouldn’t be easy). Right now, though, it does seem to be doing a very good job. We pitted the program against three commercial keyloggers, and KeyScrambler won every time, properly keeping everything we typed safe from interception.

We did have one small problem with the program, though. On a couple of occasions, as we switched to Internet Explorer and started typing, we saw only garbage: presumably the encrypted text, which hadn’t been correctly decrypted.

If KeyScrambler regularly failed this way then that would clearly be a major nuisance, probably enough to make it unusable. But we only saw it on two occasions, both with IE, and in each case everything was fine immediately afterwards (we just retyped our text and it appeared correctly). So while it seems at least possible that the program can introduce some browsing problems, they don’t appear to be common, or major, and you shouldn’t let them put you off: KeyScrambler really does add a useful extra layer of protection to your PC.

Of course the Personal build does have its limitations, in only protecting IE and Firefox. But if you need more then there are two considerably more powerful commercial editions available. KeyScrambler Professional ($29.99) protects everything you type in more than 140 browsers and apps, while KeyScrambler Premium ($44.99) extends this support even further to more than 200 applications. The KeyScrambler site has more.

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