Introducing SparkTrust MacCleaner Pro!

Introducing the new SparkTrust MacCleaner Pro! The powerful deep-cleaning program designed to improve your Mac’s performance, all with one simple tool.

SparkTrust MacCleaner Pro: Key Features

Boost your Mac’s Performance

Keep your Mac running for optimal performance with SparkTrust MacCleaner Pro. Over time, junk files, caches, logs, and other unnecessary files can build up in hard to find locations on your computer and harm your computer’s performance.

Our software will de-clutter your Mac and optimize performance by removing junk files that take up space and use up system resources.

Achieve Ultimate Privacy Protection

With SparkTrust MacCleaner Pro’s deep clean you can permanently delete files that contain confidential information. Your internet browsing activity, download logs, and trash bin items take up space on your computer and can risk your privacy. Keep your personal information secure by erasing unnecessary sensitive files from your Mac.

Free up Disk Space

Unnecessary language files take up valuable storage space on your Mac. SparkTrust MacCleaner Pro is built to clean out these unwanted system and application localizations to free up disk space on your computer.

Get Ongoing Mac Maintenance

After downloading and scanning your system with SparkTrust MacCleaner Pro, we hope you will choose to register and upgrade to the full version of the program to clean the junk files off of your computer.  Our program is designed to help you easily maintain and boost your computer’s performance with just the click of a button.

SparkTrust MacCleaner Pro: Key Benefits

Protect and Optimize Your Mac

Our software helps you erase unnecessary files, protect confidential data, and free up space to improve your Mac’s overall performance.

Easy to Use

SparkTrust MacCleaner Pro quickly cleans your computer to remove files that can cause system problems and risk your privacy. A click of a button is all it takes to help keep your computer clean and secure.

Free Support

With a subscription comes the peace of mind that there’s always someone there to help. Our expert technicians are always happy to assist you with whatever problem you may have.

Want to try SparkTrust MacCleaner Pro for yourself? Download it here!

Are hidden processes slowing down your computer?

Have you noticed that your computer is running a bit slower? The problem could be programs and processes running without your knowledge. This can drastically affect your PC’s performance.

Find out if hidden processes are slowing you down. Try a free SparkTrust PC Cleaner Plus scan.

A program is a list of instructions for your computer. Processes are those instructions being executed. They require resources from the Central Processing Unit (CPU). If there are too many processes trying to run at the same time, there are not enough resources to go around. This leads to sluggishness and poor performance.

How to Find Background Processes

Some processes on your PC “run in the background.” This means they operate without user interaction and might not be immediately noticeable. An example is a process that monitors your software to ensure it is up to date. While at times helpful, processes such as these can decrease your PC’s performance.

Run a scan with SparkTrust PC Cleaner Plus to find background processes.

Unwanted Processes

The following processes are safe, but can hurt performance and, unless you have specific requirements, are not needed.

  • Reader_sl.exe: This is called the “Speed Launcher” and assists Adobe Reader in launching quickly. It uses valuable resources and can be disabled without drastically increasing Reader’s load time.
  • Msmsgs.exe: It is for instant messaging (IM) using MSN. If you are not using it, shut it off to save resources.
  • Rthdcpl.exe: This helps you reach the Realtek High Definition Audio Control Panel. You can get there without it running in the background.
  • Lgfxpers.exe: Offering easy access to the Intel graphics control panel, this process is not needed by most users.
  • Qttask.exe: Used to launch Quick Time from the System Tray, you can save resources by turning it off if not needed.

Essential Process

When reducing the number of processes running on your PC, be careful not to eliminate something your computer needs. Below are some essential processes that Windows needs:

  • Explorer.exe
  • Taskmgr.exe
  • Spoolsv.exe
  • Csrss.exe
  • Winlogon.exe
  • Servives.exe
  • Svchost.exe (there will likely be more than one of these)

Bonus Tip: Don’t Forget About Startup

Some unwanted processes get a head start on slowing down your PC by launching at startup. You can control which processes start when you boot up. By paring down this list, you can improve your startup times.

A fast way to prevent unwanted processes from launching at startup is to disable them using SparkTrust PC Cleaner Plus’ free Startup Manager tool. When the program is launched, click on Tools and then Startup Manager. A sorted list of what will launch at startup will appear. If you don’t want a process to launch, just uncheck the box next to it. You can then close SparkTrust PC Cleaner Plus or use other features.

“ISIS” Hacks: Is Your Site a Target?

By Laura

Over the weekend, a number of websites were hacked and defaced by a group claiming to be ISIS.  While the FBI is reportedly investigating this act of cyberterrorism, there is no concrete evidence that it is linked to the Islamic State. In this case, claiming ties to an esecurity-265130_1280xtremist group may be more about the shock value than an international threat.  This is not the first time that a hacker has claimed to be linked to ISIS.

It is common for hackers to deface websites with their “calling card”, the image and message left behind to deface the webpage.  In this case, it was a black banner with the ISIS flag.  It included the message “Hacked by Islamic State (ISIS) We Are Everywhere ;)”.  Images like this can distract website admins from the real problem: hackers usually leave a backdoor or two so they can access the sites later.  These backdoors allow hackers easily enter websites, even if the administrator has changed the password.

Some reports suggest that these hacks are related to a plug-in vulnerability in WordPress.  WordPress is currently the most popular blogging system, used for over 60 million sites.  However, these hacks did not occur solely because these websites use WordPress as their platform.  It’s the updates and the plugins that you have to be concerned about.

Outdated software is one of the biggest exploits that cyberattackers use to hack websites.  In fact, it can leave your whole computer system vulnerable.  Software is updated or patched to fix bugs and improve functionality.  If these updates aren’t performed, your system is left with holes for attackers to use.

Protect Your Website From Being Hacked

The best way to protect your website is to keep everything up-to-date, and to use a website security service.  The security experts at SparkTrust Certified can monitor your website 24/7.  If there are any issues, you get alerted right away.  Websites that have been hacked, or infected with malware, are immediately cleaned, so they are back online as soon as possible.  Sometimes this is only a matter of hours.  If a site is blacklisted by Google, SparkTrust’s reputation and industry relationships often result in a faster response time than if you were to contact Google yourself.

Take care of your website to avoid a hack like many experienced this week.  Website hacks are not usually a personal attack, but an exploit of system weaknesses.  Make sure that your platform is updated to the latest version, and that all plug-ins are up-to-date.  If you don’t have a lot of time for site maintenance, have security professionals, like those at SparkTrust, take care of it for you.

Improve Your PC’s Performance with SparkTrust Driver Updater

Is your HP printer not working right? Does your Acer monitor not perform like it should?

We have all experienced hardware problems, whether it is a printer, monitor, video card, sound card, or other hardward device. What is surprising is that often the problem is not with the hardware itself but rather the driver! Device drivers play a huge role in the operation and performance of your compuer system and hardware devices.

Finding the right drivers for your specific hardware can be frustrating! As well, updating drivers is crucial but can be time consuming.

SparkTrust is pleased to offer an easy-to-use driver update software program for users of all ability levels. SparkTrust Driver Updater is the fast and easy way to update drivers. Learn more about SparkTrust Driver Updater.


Update Drivers Fast and Easy with SparkTrust Driver Updater

SparkTrust Driver Updater first scans your computer to see which drivers your computer system and attached hardware devices requires. It looks to see if you need HP drivers, Acer drivers, NVIDIA drivers, Dell drivers, Windows drivers, and many more. Once SparkTrust Driver Updater knows the specific makes and models of your hardware it refers to a large and ever-growing device driver database. SparkTrust Driver Updater’s device driver database has the latest printer drivers, display drivers, video card drivers, audio card drivers, and many others. Using innovative technology and an enormous device driver database, SparkTrust Driver Updater ensures you have the right drivers for the specific make and model of your hardware.

Go to to Download and Try SparkTrust Driver Updater.


What Are Drivers?

Drivers are small computer programs that act like translators. When you use Microsoft Word and ask your HP printer to print something, a driver plays a big part! The HP driver takes the generic instructions from your software and translates it into specific directions for your printer. If the HP driver, in this case, is missing or corrupt, your printer might not work at all

Finding drivers for all of your specific hardware devices can mean hours of frustrated searching online. Through no fault of your own, you might download the wrong driver for your specific hardware. This could cause major problems. SparkTrust Driver Updater finds the correct, official drivers your system needs.


Why is it Important to Update Drivers?

If the device driver is old and outdated, the hardware device might not perform at its best. For example, you might not get the best output possible out of an Acer display if it has an outdated driver. Hardware manufacturers  companies are constantly releasing driver updates. These updates fix bugs, patch vulnerabilities, increase stability, add new functionality, and more. As well, driver updates are created to work with the latest Windows operating systems. Windows XP drivers won’t usually work well with your new Windows 8 machine.

By checking regularly for device driver updates, you can improve performance, security, and stability. SparkTrust Driver Updater makes it a snap to update drivers. Just do a regular scan with SparkTrust Driver Updater to see if any of your HP, Dell, Acer, NVIDIA, and other drivers need updating. If they do, SparkTrust Driver Updater will get you the latest drivers for the make, model, and Windows operating system that your computer setup requires. Read more about SparkTrust Driver Updater. 


Get the Latest Drivers for HP, Dell, and More

SparkTrust Driver Updater works hard to be able to provide the most up-to-date drivers from top hardware manufacturers.  SparkTrust Driver Updater get you the latest:

  • HP Drivers
  • NVIDIA Drivers
  • Dell Drivers
  • AMD Drivers
  • ACER Drivers
  • Toshiba Drivers
  • Asus Drivers
  • Lenovo Drivers
  • ATI Drivers
  • Intel Drivers
  • Samsung Drivers
  • Epson Drivers
  • Sony Vaio Drivers
  • Realtek Drivers
  • Canon Drivers
  • Brother Drivers
  • Radeon Drivers
  • Compaq Divers
  • Gateway Drivers
  • And many more.


Update Drivers for All of Your Hardware Devices

SparkTrust Driver Updater features a huge device driver database. It can help you update:

  • Video Card Drivers
  • Printer Drivers
  • Graphics Drivers
  • USB Drivers
  • Scanner Drivers
  • Digital Camera Drivers
  • Audio Drivers
  • Sound Drivers
  • Network Drivers
  • External Hard Drive Drivers
  • Optical Disk Drive Drivers
  • And many more

Watch out for a phishing scheme claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency

Beware of this phishing scheme that claims it is from the Canada Revenue Agency.

Beware of this phishing scheme that claims it is from the Canada Revenue Agency.

Inboxes around the country are receiving a phishing email that claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency. The Canada Revenue Agency is warning people not to fall for this phishing scheme that focues on an Interac email money transfer.

While the Canada Revenue Agency phishing emails can vary, the basic form of this identity theft attempt is:
Dear TaxPayer:
Canada Revenue Agency has sent you an INTERAC e-Transfer (previously INTERAC Email Money Transfer).
Amount: $487. 29 (CAD)
Sender’s Message: A message was not provided
Expiry Date: 08 October 2014

Action Required:
To deposit your money, click here:
{fake URL here}
2014 Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Online Support

The Canada Revenue Agency has gone out of its way to explain that these are phishing scams and not real communication from the CRA. On its website, the Canada Revenue Agency states:
People should be especially aware of phishing scams asking for information such as credit card, bank account, and passport numbers. The CRA would never ask for this type of information. Some of these scams ask for this personal information directly, and others refer the taxpayer to a Web site resembling the CRA’s, where the person is asked to verify their identity by entering personal information.

Learn how to avoid phishing schemes

One way to help yourself avoid phishing schemes is to use a premium antivirus. SparkTrust AntiVirus not only cleans and removes viruses, spyware and other malware. As well, this antivirus software helps prevent phishing attacks by removing suspicious links from emails and blocking malicious websites. Download SparkTrust AntiVirus.


Don’t Get Hooked! Learn How to Avoid Phishing Schemes

Learn how to avoid phishing schemes. Image courtesy of Stomchak from Wikimedia Commons

Learn how to avoid phishing schemes. Image courtesy of Stomchak from Wikimedia Commons

Phishing schemes keep coming and you definitely don’t want to get hooked!

Being a victim of a phishing scheme can cost you financially and hurt your credit scores. A typical phishing scheme starts with you receiving an email purporting to be from your bank, a trusted online company, or even a well known charity. You are asked to click on a link that takes you to a website that looks legitimate. However, it is a fake page where cybercriminals hope to steal your confidential data. They will use this info to loot your account or commit identity theft.

You can avoid ending up on a phishing hook by taking some precautions:

  1. Avoid clicking hyperlinks in emails. It is best not to click a hyperlink in an email – especially if it comes from someone you don’t know personally. You never know where a link is going to take you! In most cases, you can navigate to a company’s legitimate web page through your browser and get to any page you need.
  2. Look for https. When you are entering financial or confidential info into a website, such as banking credentials or your credit card number, look for “https://” rather than “http://” in the url in your web browser. There should also be a secure lock icon in the bottom right hand corner of your browser, whether you are surfing with Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Google Chrome. The lock icon and https:// means that the page is encrypted and your info is secure.
  3. Use a premium antivirus. Quality antivirus software can help ward off all kinds of attacks. Malware can disguise your web address bar or mimic https:// links. A premium antivirus like SparkTrust AntiVirus finds and removes viruses, spyware, adware, keyloggers, Trojan downloaders, and other malware. This advanced antivirus product also provides premium phishing protection by removing suspicious links from your emails and blocking known malicious websites.
  4. Install a firewall. Firewalls are great to have and not just for phishing attacks. They prevent hackers from getting in to your PC and stop outward communication from malware. In regards to phishing schemes, firewalls can prevent malware from entering your PC and hijacking your web browser. SparkTrust AntiVirus offers an advanced firewall.
  5. Don’t enter confidential info into pop-up windows. A common tactic for phishing criminals is to pop up a window when you click on a phishing email link. This pop-up window could be set up to go over the window of a company you trust! You should close the window by clicking the “X” in the top right corner. If you click cancel on the phishing pop-up window, it might take you to another fake page or download malware to your PC.
  6. Watch your credit card and bank statements. Sometimes things happen and even the most security savvy people fall victim to phishing schemes. By watching your statements you can catch any irregularities early and contact your bank to have them fixed or cancel your credit card.

After Heartbleed, OpenSSL bugs show importance of password security

In April, the web and newspapers around the world were abuzz about Heartbleed – a major security risk. Now months later, things have quieted down. However, last month it was announced that nine more critical bugs were found in the OpenSSL.

It was emphasized that none of these new vulnerabilities were as serious as Heartbleed, which, by some experts’ calculations, affected two thirds of websites. However, these latest bugs show that it is very impheartbleedortant to protect your accounts and take care of your passwords. Vulnerabilities in OpenSSL, like Heartbleed, can be used by cybercriminals to:

  • Steal data, such as passwords, usernames, and more
  • Carry out denial of service (DoS) attacks
  • Write files to your computer’s memory
  • And more

How to Protect Yourself
When it comes to OpenSSL vulnerabilities, the onus is on the company operating the website to apply the security patches that are issued. You should keep a close eye on your banking, shopping, and social networking websites to see if they have announced that they are patched.

It is also a good idea to:

  1. Change your passwords. Once it has been announced that a website has been patched, change your password to make it harder for cybercriminals.
  2. Keep a watch out. Check your banking and credit card accounts to make sure no strange or surprise charges have been made to your accounts.
  3. Use strong passwords. Security researchers recommend you use hard-to-crack passwords for each of your online accounts. Some common guidelines include using passwords that are at least eight characters long, cannot be found in a dictionary, and have a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols.
  4. Employ different credentials. It is recommended that you have a unique password for each of your accounts. As well, it is a good idea to use different usernames and emails for various accounts. This adds another layer of security.
  5. Use a premium antivirus. Antivirus software such as SparkTrust AntiVirus can remove dangerous malware that has been downloaded to your computer due to vulnerabilities.

What is OpenSSL
OpenSSL is a software used by countless websites for security. With OpenSSL, info such as passwords and usernames are transferred from your PC to websites in an encrypted way so that it cannot be seen by others. The Heartbleed vulnerability allowed users with a little know how the ability to get info without leaving any tracks.

Keeping Online Shopping Secure

Online shopping is convenient and often less expensive than going to a store. You won’t have to pay for gas to drive to the mall, you can get online exclusive deals, and you may even avoid sales tax depending on where you live. Making payments online can open you up for a world of potential headaches, however. In the wrong hands, your credit card number or checking account information might lead to you becoming the victim of thousands of dollars of  fraudulent charges that you don’t know about until it’s too late. Here are some tools that can help you to shop online securely.

Use Anti-Virus Protection

When you are under the protection of an Anti-Virus program like SparkTrust, your computer can detect when a site has compromised security or it’s not safe to enter payment information. This can stop you in your tracks before you make a purchase on a site that is unsafe. Anti-Virus software can also detect when someone tries to access your computer via an email link that is pretending to be from a reputable shopping site, or other malicious attempts for people to steal your information.

Look for a Security Lock

Once you’ve put items into your online shopping cart and are about to move on to purchasing, you should see a gold lock in the URL field. Depending on your browser, the symbol may also appear somewhere near the bottom of the screen. In any case, this is a sign that the payment pat is secure and your data will be adequately encrypted. If you don’t see this symbol, don’t make a purchase on that website. It’s either an insecure site or has been temporarily compromised.

Check the URL

Sometimes scam sites pop up that are made to look like a legitimate site. Always manually type the URL of the website you want to visit into the browser, as opposed to clicking on an email link or a link on another site. Sometimes spoof sites are set up to look like a major retailer. In reality, these sites only exist to steal your payment information and potentially your identity. Instead of clicking on an email link to The Gap from a promotion email, for example, type “” in your web browser just to make sure you’re accessing the real deal.

Shop Over a Secure Connection

Avoid doing your online shopping in a coffee shop or anywhere you’re not logged into a secured connection. This allows someone to use the open wireless Internet network to hack into your computer remotely and potentially steal personal information. Always password protect your own home Internet network and use that network to shop. If you are at friend’s home or work where you know that the connection is password protected, you are also safe to make purchases there.

In addition to exercising the above precautions, it’s wise to use a credit card when you shop online. If you pay via a debit card linked to your checking account, or provide a checking account number, you may not have the same fraud protections. A major credit card will generally reimburse you for fraudulent charges while your bank may not have the same policy.

Password Safety

Password protecting your data online is absolutely necessary, but if you’re not careful about the way you go about it – you might not end up stopping hackers from accessing your personal information. Whether it’s a social media site or the folders on your desktop, a secure password means using something that is truly unique, not easy to guess, and has not been shared with anyone else. A simple password that is used for each of your online accounts won’t offer much protection. If you’re new to password creation, here are some tips for how to best keep your data safe.

Password Complexity

Choosing a password that is quite predicable and simple, such as your first name in all lower case letters, doesn’t really offer any protection from hackers. A good password will have a combination of upper case and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters whenever possible. Ideally, the numbers will be included on the inside of a word, such as “New45York.” Always add a special character like an exclamation point in between letters or at the end of the password if it’s allowed, because it’s less expected and will be harder to crack.

Password Storage

Once you have a good password created, think about how safe you keep it. Don’t write it down on a piece of paper and tape it to your desk – even in your own home. You never know when an intruder or even a house guest that you don’t know well could see the passwords and make use of them in a negative way. If you can’t remember your passwords, write them down and keep them in a home safe or another locked location. Don’t create a file on your computer will all passwords, because if your computer is ever stolen and the document is opened, your security will be greatly compromised.

Virus Protection

If a hacker can remotely access your wireless Internet or desktop files, he may be able to crack your passwords. You can protect yourself against this type of invasion with the help of a trusted antivirus software like SparkTrust Antivirus. This program and those like it will scan your computer periodically for known threats, and can notify you immediately if a potential threat is trying to infiltrate your system. SparkTrust can mean the difference between seeing that a virus is attempting to access your data before it gains access to your files, and learning about it the hard way once your accounts have been hacked already.

Password safety is crucial to your intellectual property, financial records, and more. You should not only password protect your social networks and bank accounts with care, but take advantage of all optional passwords on computer programs and folders. If you must share certain documents with other people, upload them to a cloud service that is password protected with a complex combination of letters and numbers. Try to avoid saving things to a large communal drive that can be accessed by your entire company, or any large group of people.

Staying safe when banking online.

Online banking has a convenience factor that is hard to rival, especially when you consider mobile banking which allows you to deposit checks and stay on top of your account from anywhere. However, the transmission of information over the Web can mean that someone with malicious intent is able to gain access to your sensitive bank information. In the worst case scenario, if someone is able to get your password and log in he may also be able to figure out your bank account numbers or make transfers out of your account. Here are some ways you can stay save while taking advantage of online banking.

Virus Protection

Before you ever sign on to an online bank account, make sure that your computer is protected by a virus protection tool, such as SparkTrust Anti-Virus. A virus protection program will alert you if your banking site’s security is compromised, and also prevents an unauthorized person from hacking into your computer remotely and tracking your activity. Virus tools can run in the background of your system and also conduct specific scans to look for threats. Always make sure that your virus protection is up to date.

Site Security

Internet browsers are committed to letting you know if a site is secure. Secured sites, like banking websites, are protected by a level of encryption that makes it safe to conduct financial business. The symbol for a secure site is usually a lock in the URL bar at the top of your screen, or the bottom right corner of the browser. Each Internet browser is different, so research the method that your browser uses to indicate a safe site and always check for the symbol before you log on to online banking. If there is a red exclamation point or the lock is missing, there is a chance that the security of the site has been temporarily compromised.

Unique Log In

Don’t use the same user name and password combination on your bank site that you use on any other site. This makes it possible for someone who hacks into your other online accounts to also find you on a banking site. For instance, if your Twitter account is hacked because someone is able to figure out your user name and password combination, it wouldn’t be hard for him to take the same email and password and try them on various banking websites until he successfully logs in. By making sure that your online banking log in information is unique to that site – and not a variation on any other password, either – you increase your security when online banking.

Managing your money online is easy and it can also be safe – if you take the proper steps. Don’t forget to use an active firewall on your computer as well, and password protect any wireless Internet networks so outsiders can’t infiltrate them. When in doubt, make certain that your bank as a no-risk policy when it comes to online banking; these policies won’t leave you on the hook for funds lost when someone hacks into the site and makes unauthorized transactions with your checking or savings accounts.