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From G4tv.com (Abridged)
Keeping your computer safe is not limited to the internet. You also need to keep it secure when you are not on the internet. Opening files of dubious origin always involves risk of infection or hijacking, but you never know about the ones that your friend brings . Often it's someone else using your computer that infects it unwittingly. Peer to Peer file sharing is also a major source of infection. While in the past most viruses targeted security holes in Windows or Internet Explorer; now most take advantage of social engineering to lure you to click to install something or exploit holes in third party applications like java, flash, acrobat reader, winzip etc. These "zero day" exploits can allow a malicious site to install software silently without your antivirus being able to detect or block them. Keep up to date.
Internet Security: Keeping your computer secure is your first line of defence against hackers, viruses, trojans,hijackers, spammers, and adware. These programs and sites will help you make the a little bit easier. They will also educate you about the threat and your computer, and is one of the most important parts of computer maintenance you can do.
My favorite; AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 9.0
Avast Home Edition free for home use
Configuration Tutorial for Avast
A Squared anti-trojan
Comodo BOClean Anti-Malware 4.27
DR Web anti-virus link checker A FireFox Add-on
Google pack includes Spyware Doctor
One of my Personal Favorites; LavaSoft Ad Aware
I love this one; Spybot Search and Destroy
Spywareguard Immunize against malware sites.
Almost forgot! One of my favorite pieces of Free software; Zone Alarm Free Firewall I've been using it for years.
Another freebie I didn't see listed is something I stumbled upon, to my surprise!
MICROSOFT SECURITY ESSENTIALS, a no nonsense application for anti-virus and spyware. It can be found in the Windows Marketplace.