Windows users: If you use a free-for-home-users antivirus software like AVG or AntiVir, you might want to check out the free-for-home-users AOL Kaspersky.
You don't have to be an AOL user to use it, and it doesn't have any extra AOL junk packed with it. So this is a pretty sweet deal. Kaspersky is one of the best antiviruses out there. During installation, it's recommended that you skip the installation of the security toolbar, it's not really beneficial.
Stacey points out that the license agreement might mean that they can send you Spam. Maybe it would be smart to use a "throwaway" email account that you only use when you sign up to stuff that might result in Spam. That's what I did.
Uninstall your old antivirus before installing a new antivirus, so they don't clash. Here's a narrated 2MB Windows Media Player movie where I show how to configure the antivirus software.
On other security-related topics:
- Newer computers have a security feature called Data Execution Prevention that you can turn on. Right-click My Computer, choose Properties, and do like in this pic.
- Windows Defender went final. It's Microsoft's free antispyware program for Windows XP with Service Pack 2.
- Spybot Search & Destroy 1.4 and SpywareBlaster 3.5.1 are popular free antispyware with immunization features. They could help if you have kids/roommates/relatives using your 'puter, although a Limited account is where to start IMO. Update them every couple weeks or so.
- You can get a free antivirus/antispyware scan, a firewall check, and a registry tune-up at the Windows Live OneCare safety scanner.
- FireFox 2.0 came out, including some security fixes versus 188.8.131.52, and an anti-phishing feature (what's phishing?). If you use FF, uninstall old versions using Add/Remove Programs, and install the new one.
- Internet Explorer 7 is available for WinXP with SP2 and also has an anti-phishing feature.
- Opera 9.02 is the latest version of Opera, if you prefer Opera. Uninstall old versions and install the new one.
- Adobe Flash Player 9 fixes some exploitable security problems with Flash Player 8. If you have Flash Player, uninstall the old version and install the latest one.
- QuickTime 7.1.3, with or without iTunes as you prefer, fixes exploitable security issues. Uninstall older versions and install the new one.
- Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 5.0 Update 9 is the latest version of Sun Java for your PC to run Java applets with. Uninstall all older versions so they can't be exploited, and install the new version.
- If you use WinAmp, uninstall the old version and install the latest version. WinAmp is periodically exploited as more holes are discovered in it.
Hope that helps someone