I like to try different combinations of security software. I talk to customers and fellow geeks about what they use, do some research and then try it out. Everything I use is freeware. You may buy paid versions of most of the below products to unlock more features or capabilities (see Malwarebytes).
Browser - I currently use Google Chrome. It is safe, appealing to my eye and easy to use.
Antivirus - I am using Microsoft Security Essentials. It rates high on virus protection, and is unrestricted for free use.
Antimalware - By far my favorite is Malwarebytes!
There is a free version, but it only provides passive protection (user has to keep it updated and run scans manually). I purchased the paid version (ALWAYS order media CD if offered!), which includes the software activation, CD and two years of free updates for about $42. Well worth the investment.
Firewall - Zone Alarm Free. Zone Alarm will warn you when new connections are made, and for geeks it is more interactive.
Cleaning Product - CCleaner. Safely cleans your computer and registry. Also has some other geek-like features.
Where do I go for reviews and downloads?
The Human Factor - If everyone stopped downloading freeware, joining social networking sites, listening to music and sharing stuff, virus writers would be out of business! But since we know that isn't going to happen, be careful.
If you get a pop up message, the best thing to do is let go of your mouse so you don't accidently click on the message or try to "x" it out! Instead, go to the Task Manager by clicking on Ctrl, Alt and Delete keys at the same time. In the Applications tab (usually the default when you open TM), end any tasks running (the pop up!). If you catch it at this point, you may not need to call me later.
What combination do you use? Do you have questions about freeware? Please feel free to share your thoughts and questions. Happy surfing!