Today it is impossible to protect yourself from all of the various "bugs" out there without taking a comprehensive approach to protecting your computer, and this means using multiple program types. First and foremost is a good firewall. Personally, I use Sygate because of its smaller footprint but many prefer ZoneAlarm. Second, you simply must have a quality--and this does not necessarily mean free--antivirus program. In nearly all independent testing that I have seen, NOD32 has been given the highest score. Third, you need some proactive measures to further stop spyware, adware, malware, and the like from getting into your computer. I use I.E.Pad which is a small program--continually updated--that adds known dirty sites to your internet blocked zone. In addition to this program, I also use Spyware Blaster and Spyware Guard. By the way the aforementioned three are all free! Fourth, are the old standbys AdAware, and Spybot Search and Destroy. These are worthwhile and free but should not be relied on other than for some quick daily scans. Fifth, there is a relatively new program on the market called Ewido Security. It has thus far one of the largest signature databases of any of the antispyware tools (over 102,000 as of today's date). It updates daily (sometimes two or three times daily), it is free, and it is especially good for finding and eliminating trojans and keyloggers. Sixth, after seriously testing the major anti-spyware programs which also have realtime protection, my tests give the relatively new Counter Spy by Sunbelt the nod. It is fast, thorough, and while not free, very inexpensive. The new Microsoft Anti Spywaree Beta, which is free, is my second choice but because Counter Spy found three objects which Microsoft missed, my recommendation is for Counter spy. Finally, either manually or using a program such as CC Cleaner (also free) delete your temporary files, temporaray internet files, and history files daily. A good portion of the time you will find that this is where a lot of malware hides. When you delete the files, you delete the bug. The added advantage is that this routine "housekeeping" not only frees up space on your hard drive, but speeds up your computer as well.