If you open up the Windows Task Manager (press CTRL+ALT+Delete), then you’ll see a list of processes in front of you.
Some of these processes have mysterious names. What exactly is EvtEng.exe or httpd.exe? Are these processes legitimate applications or are they viruses sneakily stealing your computer’s speeds?
Today, I’m going to help you answer that question and explain how to determine the difference between a dangerous virus and a legitimate application.
Google is your friend
The easiest way to check processes is to use Google. Follow these steps:
-Click “Start Task Manager”
-Click on the Processes tab
-You should see a number of processes appear on that list, including all of the programs you currently have open as well as background processes and tasks.
-Scroll through the list and make sure you know what each and every process does. The function of some processes, like Chrome.exe, is obvious: they’re named after the software you’re using. In other cases, however, you’ll encounter oddly-named processes with no discernible task.
-When you encounter a mysterious process, open Google and type in the name of that process. Tech support websites and forums will often have detailed information about each process. These websites will immediately tell you whether or not a process is suspicious.
Repeat the steps until you’ve cleared all processes in your list. If no mysterious processes are found, then that’s great! If you do find a mysterious process, then you can try removing that process with antivirus software or seek advice from your old friend, Google.
Use free software like CrowdInspect
The first method can be time-consuming and inaccurate. That’s why some computer users depend on applications like CrowdInspect. CrowdInspect automatically monitors and detects which software is running on your Windows computer at any time.
The software gives ratings to each program based on its trustworthiness. It also runs applications through the WOT trust meter, Virustotal Scans, and Malware Hash Registry (MHR) to make sure you’re not running any known viruses.
Applications that are verified to be safe and virus-free are labeled in green, while others are labeled with yellow and red according to their declining trustworthiness rankings.
Scroll through the UI to view which applications have been deemed trustworthy and which ones are suspicious.
You can download CrowdInspect for free from here. It’s easy to use and works on all Windows computers.
CrowdInspect isn’t a program you need to run all the time. Instead, you should run it once every month or so to make sure no malicious processes have appeared on your PC. You should also run it after noticing slow computer speeds, error messages, or other PC problems.