A "key logger" is a computer program that keeps a record of every keystroke someone types on a computer. Hackers can use key loggers to infiltrate a computer system, or to steal someone's identity. They might use a key logger as part of a computer virus, and once a computer is infected, the hacker can receive a report of every keystroke entered from that computer -- passwords, Social Security Numbers, content, anything.
Now, some employers are having key loggers installed on all their computers so they can monitor what their employees are doing. What better way is there to find out who the whistleblower is, and what that whistleblower is reporting? Don't think that just because you work for a small employer, you should be protected from such snooping. Key loggers can be installed by any employer who knows how to call a computer technician who can install it.
I recently learned about an employee who used an office computer to renew a vehicle registration. Six weeks later, that employee received a letter from the state bureau of motor vehicles. The letter informs the employee that the computer used for the registration "had been compromised with software that allowed capture of each keystroke." The letter goes on to explain how the key logger was detected by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), and reported through the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC). So, do you want to know if your boss is using a key logger? Wait for your official break time. Then, use your office computer to renew your vehicle registration. Allow six to eight weeks for delivery. Perhaps then you will receive a written finding from the government that your computer is infected with a key logger. Either way, it is not safe for employees to use office computers for any confidential communications. I recommend against using the office computer to communicate with your lawyer, with law enforcement, or for any personal communication. The boss could find out about it.