You've got AVG Free and Avast for free anti-virus protection, AdAware, Spybot, AVG Anti-Spyware, and Windows Defender (to name a few) for malware detection and removal. Then there's XP/Vista's firewall which does a pretty good job. If you're not running XP/Vista, or just want to use a different firewall, there are plenty to choose from. They all offer pretty much the same level of protection, it's just a matter of which interface you think is prettier to look at.
You can also consider my following tips that I guarantee will produce a very problem free system (if you start off virus and malware free) for quite some time. If much of anything slips past while following all of these suggestions, I'll give you double your money back!
TIPS FOR A SMOOTH RUNNING SYSTEM
The more of these suggestions you follow, the fewer problems you should have. Follow them all, and you've probably eliminated at least 95% of all potential problem sources.
Things you should NOT do
1: Use Internet Explorer
2: Use any browser based on Internet Explorer
3: Use Outlook or Outlook Express
4: Open email attachments you haven't manually scanned with your virus scanner
5: Open email attachments you were not expecting, no matter who they appear to be from
6: Respond to spam messages, including using unsubscribe links
7: Visit questionable websites (e.g. porn, warez, hacking)
8: Poke unnecessary holes in your firewall by clicking "Allow" every time some program requests access to the Internet
9: Click directly on links in email messages
10: Use file sharing or P2P programs
11: Use pirated programs
Things you SHOULD do
1: Use a non-IE or IE based browser
2: Always have an up to date virus scanner running
3: Always have a firewall running
4: Install all the latest security updates (the exception to the no-IE rule)
5: Delete all unsolicited emails containing attachments without reading
6: Manually scan all email attachments with your virus scanner, regardless of whether it's supposed to be done automatically
7: Copy and paste URLs from email messages into your web browser
8: Inspect links copied and pasted into your web browser to ensure they don't seem to contain a second/different address
Has anyone used this software? What are your experoences?
They will scan your PC for all sorts of stuff, but, naturally, they want you to purchase the product to remove the bad stuff it finds.
What software is better? Either freeware or paid for?