Sometime you must have gone to a cyber cafe or used public computers to access the internet or mail.
Public computers are most prone to password hacking. Anyone can simply install a keylogger software to hack your password. Keylogging is one of the most insidious threats to a users personal information. Passwords,credit card numbers,etc.
It is very easy for the keylogger to harvest passwords. Each and every keystroke (whatever you type on the keyboard) gets recorded in the keylogger software and the person installing it can easily view what you have typed in.
For example,if you go to hotmail.com and check your mails. Say your ID is [email protected] and password is snoopy2,the keylogger software records your usename and password in its log file as
Just a quick tip: don't use computers that you don't have full control over to enter sensitive information. If you have a wireless network or are on a public network with your own device, use a VPN, which eliminates the issue of network snooping.
A lot of key logging software is much more advanced than you have described; they can detect which fields are pressed and only record that information. E.g. Clicking on the password field, then address bar, then password field and typing characters in each probably wont fool it.
Your password will probably be easy enough to pick out of garbled junk letters anyway, as they usually aren't truly random. So, if the person who has setup the key logger has it so that he can come back and get all the keystrokes, he can pick out your password easily enough.
Basically, if you know the computer has malware, trogans, viruses or any other malicious infections or applications (keyloggers included) or even has the possibility of having any of the aforementioned installed, just don't use it. I really wouldn't trust any of my sensitive information to a public computer at any rate.
If you really have to enter sensitive information on a public or unsecured network, use two-factor authentication devices and change your password when you next use a private computer.