Computer security is no longer an afterthought, and a three-pronged defense will protect you from most attacks:
Firewall. A firewall is a secure boundary between your computer (or network) and the internet, protecting you against external threats such as crackers and malicious programs.
Software updates. Windows Update monitors the Microsoft website for new security patches, updates, bug fixes, and hardware drivers, which it downloads and installs promptly.
Malware protection. Malicious software, or malware, includes viruses and spyware. Antivirus and antispyware programs find and remove malware from your hard drives, downloaded files, and email attachments. Most malware programs include an autoupdate feature to counter ...