The Task Manager

The task manager is an important tool to monitor your system, against malwares. Malwares are general terms for viruses and spywares. First let us determine its basic functions.

1.We use the task manager to know the applications currently running in our computer. Whether it is a bunch of software games, some photo editing tool, a document, web browser or an opened folder it would eventually show up in the list of application running on the task manager.

task manager applications

2. People often use the task manager to force a certain application to close. For instance, if you are playing a computer game or using some software then the program crashes (hangs). The immediate remedy if you are sure the program would no longer respond is CTRL+ALT+DEL after that right click the not responding program and click “End Task”. (This one is where the task manager is commonly used)

3. Some use it to set one process as priority, which can be done by right clicking it in process tab then choosing “Set Priority”. Though it would not be permanent since the moment the computer restarts the process is set back to normal.


How can we monitor our system so that it would be malware free?

Open your task manager, be 100% sure you are not infected with computer malwares of any kind. Select the process tab, take note of each processes running in your system. Literally, take note of all the processes or print screen it and save it as image. Ok, why would you need to do that? You need it for future comparison. Try checking the process tab once a week, compare what you see to the original processes you have saved or listed. If there are some unknown processes running, or a process that is not on your list. Look for the process’s name in the Internet.

task manager malware

What is opwarese4.exe? Is it a virus?

What I found out...

"opwarese4.exe is a OCR Aware from ScanSoft, Inc. belonging to OmniPage Pro .Disabling or enabling it is down to user preference. Non-system processes like opwarese4.exe originate from software you installed on your system. As most applications store data in your system's registry, it is likely that your registry has suffered fragmentation and accumulated harmful errors. It is recommended that you check your registry to identify hidden errors now.

This process is considered safe. It is unlikely to pose any harm to your system."

malware process

Furthermore, take note of the amount of memory required to run each program in the process tab. There are some malwares that mimics the name of a good process. I had a friend and his computer was infected with a computer virus. We tried to look at the Processes tab and we saw no “new files” running in the system. We just got suspicious when we saw that his Antivirus software displays five times in the Processes tab. An Antivirus is running five different tasks in the system is definitely not normal. The viruses renamed itself with the installed Antivirus in the computer, how clever.  Furthermore, also monitor the Performance tab. As said by a Computer nerd friend not all viruses running in your system can be seen in the Processes tab.

Monitoring the CPU usage is another way to check if you are infected or not by some malwares. The best way to test that is when your system is in idle state. Idle state means there are no applications running in the application tab. The normal CPU usage percentage is below 10%. If it is exceeding 10% you might want to check your system.  There are some factors that increase CPU usage even in idle state, one is your antivirus program. Some antivirus programs are not light in the memory. They often run in the background. Automatic updates might contribute too. Another method is noting how much CPU percentage is gained when you start a certain application. For example, try starting your Internet browser and note the CPU percentage after that. There are some malwares that only runs once a certain application is initialized, the most common go signal for malwares is the Internet browser. Once it is run, the malwares would also run. Since you know what would be the CPU usage if the Internet browser is open, you can discern whether your system is infected or not.

The three sites I often use for checking the processes in my system are:

I usually check unknown processes on, but I sometimes do double check using the other two if I am not satisfied with the definition that was given to me by the first site.

You can check my other articles about malware protection:

The Computer First Aid Kit - Virus Removal Techniques


Disabling the Autorun - Why and How