Well, the best thing you can do is install a router (if you don't already have one). This is your best first line of defense to attackers. Next, you shouldn't really have more than one antivirus product because they can interfere with eachother and greatly reduce system performance. I've found AVG
to be a wonderful product and it isn't very demanding on your resources. As for Anti-spyware, at my organization and at my home we use superantispyware
, it is very aggressive without damaging any system files. Purchasing the full version of Superantispyware gives you real-time protection.
Other best practices include:
1.) Don't even look at an e-mail from an unrecognized sender, just delete it!
2.) Never put contact information (such as e-mail, phone or address [sometimes even last name]) on sites where it is publicly viewable (like in a signature).
3.) Use your computer's built-in firewall (but don't go overboard)
4.) Don't visit suspicious sites, or click on suspicious links (AVG will scan links from Google and some other sites before you visit them and will display the sites reputability next to the link).
5.) Keep your system up-to-date! Windows updates are essential to maintaining system security, especially when you are dealing with multiple users on the same system, since you can't control their actions.
6.) Limit administrative privileges for users who don't know what they're doing, this will help safeguard them from doing something they didn't know they shouldn't be doing.
Also keep in mind that running scans every day can dramatically reduce the lifespan of your hard-drive. Set scans for weekly or bi-weekly, or when a threat is detected. The same goes for the anti-spyware. Both AVG and Super have real-time scanning that should keep you safe.
Super also prevents websites from changing your homepage with it's homepage protect option.
Hope this helps. Most of the time, hijackers will come from bad downloads and malicious websites, so avoiding those will put you in pretty good shape.
As for games, only communicate with players that you trust. You can get as crazy as you want for security but the bottom line is that if someone wants your info badly enough, they can get it.