How to Recognize a Malicious Process in a Computer's Task Manager

By Thomas King

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A process is simply a program that is running on your computer. A process that comes from a malicious application, such as spyware, adware, Trojans, malware and worms, can compromise the security and performance of your computer. To end a malicious process, you simply right-click on the process and select “End Process.” Unfortunately, determining which processes are malicious is a bit more difficult.

Step 1

Close all the programs on your computer.

Step 2

Press "Ctrl + Alt + Delete."

Step 3

Click on "Start Task Manager."

Step 4

Click on the "Processes" Tab.

Step 5

Click on "Show Processes From All Users."

Step 6

Scroll down the list of processes looking for any suspicious processes. A process is particularly suspicious if it is taking up a lot of memory--despite the fact that you closed all of your computer programs--and the name is not familiar to you.

Step 7

Type the name of any suspicious process into the process library located at the link below. The process library will tell you what the process does and if it is malicious.