* You didn't mention a firewall in there (the Windows firewall is not sufficient), which is a mandnatory first line of protection. ZoneAlarm is always a good place to start.
* Norton Antivirus is one of the best available, and while it is a bit of a resource hog, it alone (not the entire Internet Security Suite) isn't that bad. If you're looking for an alternative, Avast and AVG are two of the most popular, but most evaluations say Nod32 is the best.
* For spyware, I prefer Webroot's Spy Sweeper, as I've found it to be the most thorough. However, if you choose to go for free software, MS Antispyware (the next best thing, IMO) should remain active in the background. Spybot and Adaware should both be run weekly to catch what MS misses. And, of course, Spyware Blaster should be installed and kept updated. (Note: It doesn't run in the background and use resources, just disk space.)
* While I do have other utilities installed (including Ewido and Spyware Guard), I've found that they are rarely necessary as the above do a pretty good job of keeping me clean.
So, basically, you should have 1 firewall, 1 antivirus (although a second, like Ewido, is always good to keep around for an occasional scan), and 1 active spyware scanner (although you really should have others set for quick weekly scans).
The reason for all of this is that antivirus programs are not, for the most part, designed to scan for/detect spyware. In addition, while antivirus scanners are usually pretty close in effeciency (85-95%), spyware scanners always seem to have markers all over the board. By some tests, not one spyware scanner has better than a 75% effeciency rating...typically hovering around 50% (This is due to the every-changing world of spyware, the many types available, debates over what should be considered spyware, and the occasional lawsuit after a company's software has been blacklisted.) Thus, adware and spyware scanners should always be installed in sets.
Hope this helps,
As a user of windows xp and internet explorer, we know how vulnerable we are to browser hijacks and other threats. I bet that u guys will have tons of software to protect your system(I Do!).But...what is the essential software that we need?I have Norton antivirus 2005,spybot search and destroy,ewido,spyware blaster,spyware guard,Browser hijack blaster(phew).Out of which, the last three do not consume too much of disk space or resources.norton and ewido swallow up the system.Norton swallows up quite a bit of system resources and is a bit of an annoyance.Is this software enough(I guess so!).Why can't we have one spyware tool instead of having to depend on so many?(or for that matter, one antivirus software or malware detector).I would like the opinion of everybody in this forum.Thank you!