How to Find Out if There is Any Malicious Process in Computer

How to Find Out if There is Any Malicious Process in Computer

The different types of malware are one of the main threats today for users. When our devices are infected, the first thing we usually notice is a drop in performance. 

This article will delve into how we can identify these symptoms and locate malicious processes on our computers.

Indeed it has occurred to all of us that our computers have started to give us problems, taking longer than necessary to turn on, open a file or download something from the Internet. 

As a general rule, it is probably because the computer is installing something and needs to “slow down” or that other house members are using our Internet connection, and we cannot browse or download at maximum speed. 

However, on other occasions, it may be a virus or malware that takes advantage of our computer to carry out malicious background processes, consuming the performance of our equipment. 

Many threats could put our devices at risk, such as viruses, malware, malicious connections, web pages, etc. Even if we have an anti-malware tool, such as an antivirus installed and correctly updated, some may be detected.

For this reason, we must know how to identify these malicious processes and how to act if we find one on our computer.

How to Identify a Malicious Process in Windows

If we have a computer with the Windows operating system, we have a tool to manage the active processes on our laptop, called Task Manager. It is beneficial when we suspect that there may be a process running in the background and consuming a large part of our computer’s resources, such as malware that may have been installed, for example, by downloading pirated software or connecting an infected USB. 

1. To access the tool, we can right-click on ‘Start’ and click on ‘Task Manager, although we can also access it using the ‘Ctrl + Alt + Del’ keys, and then click on ‘Task Manager.

2. Once opened, we will see a window with numerous tabs and information. Within the first of all, ‘Processes’, we will see the active processes in real-time on our computer and the percentage of resources they are consuming. 

 3. To identify an illegitimate process, we can follow the following recommendations: 

  • The first thing is to ask ourselves the following questions :
  • Are there any applications or processes that we don’t recognize?
  • Is this application or process consuming much more resources than the rest?
  • Suppose we still have doubts and want more information. In that case, we can always right-click on the process and click ‘Properties.’ Inside, we will find information about the file or process, its location, when it was created, etc., that can help us identify it as legitimate or malicious.
  • If we still have doubts and we find some process or application that we suspect on the Internet, we will see multiple tools that can help us. For example, is a website where you can search by the name of the process and find out if it is a legitimate or malicious process.

 4. Finally, if we have identified a malicious processor, at least one that seems suspicious, we must proceed to its termination. To end a process or application, we will have to click on it and click on ‘End task, ‘or right-click on it and click on ‘End task ‘:

  • If it is a malicious process, we should notice an improvement in the computer’s performance. However, it is recommended to scan our system with the antivirus immediately to erase any traces of the virus or malware.
  • Suppose it is a legitimate process, and we have ended it by mistake. In that case, it is possible that an application closes or that the system ignores the action and notifies us that it is a fundamental process for the computer.

How to Identify a Malicious Process on Mac

In our Apple brand devices, it is also possible to control the running processes and applications. If we look at the menu bar at the top right, we will see an icon for each running application. However, as with Windows, some processes are running in the background, and we are unaware of it. 

These processes consume the resources of our system, and when it comes to techniques or applications that we do not use, they can slow down our computer and prevent us from enjoying its total capacity. On the other hand, these processes can cause a virus or malware infection, and we should eliminate them as soon as possible.

To do this, the first thing we need is to access the ‘Activity Monitor’ of our computer:

1. We must open the ‘Activity Monitor’ application to enter this list of processes. Doing so will display a list of all active applications, and producers will display a list of all functional applications and procedures.

2. Many of them are probably unfamiliar to us, but we can get more information if we click on them and then on the “i” icon located at the top. Then, a window will open where we can find, for example, the path of the application linked to said process or the percentage of memory used.

3. If we detect a suspicious process, we can terminate it by clicking on said process and the cross icon at the top left of the ‘Activity Monitor’ window. 

4. Suppose we do not find any suspicious process, but even so, our computer is going wrong, and we think there may be a problem. In that case, the gear icon, located next to the two previous icons, will allow us to run a system diagnostic and inform us of a malicious processor that we should finish.

As a recommendation, monitoring the applications and processes of our equipment will help us maintain some control over its activity and improve its performance if we observe that one is consuming too many resources or has been blocked. If we find a suspicious process, Whether it is malware or a virus, it will help us diagnose and protect our computers. 


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