You keep your computer safe by not using Windows.
True. But if no other choice:
Use firefox rather than IE. Not only is it more secure, its also a lot more stable(And less updates which IE likes to 'publish' 5 a week)
Use AVG free or Avast(Both very, very good 'FREE' anti-virus programs which in many cases, out preform 'premium' paid versions, AND take up MUCH less computer resources)
If you use msn messanger, download and install the A-Patch. be sure to get the right one for your version of msn(Also versions for yahoo messengers but I don't use those)
Comodo is a great free firewall. Takes some tweeking to get it to stop nagging at you for each thing u do, but once u got it configured (About a week of normal use) its prob the best u can get(And not pay for) - But strong suggestion, ONLY take the firewall do NOT install the anti-virus or spyware. They BOTH Suck.
Spyboy - Search and destroy, malwarebytes, super anti-spyware are 3 excellent (And yes, free) anti malware programs. Get all 3, they work together and each might find soemthing the other 2 missed. With all 3 going I'm betting even the most gung-ho porn surfer would be cleaning all his infections.
Few notes to consider:
Do NOT use 2 anti-viruses, they can and WILL detect each other(and in some cases, they will even detect and 'quarantine' themselves which can cause some problems
You CAN use multiple malware removal programs, and its also highly suggested you do(Look above)
You CAN use multiple software firewalls, but its highly recommended you do NOT(and the redundant protection is never needed since if a port is blocked, its blocked, regardless of how many firewalls u got) BUT a hardware firewall(IE: From a modem or router) plus a software firewall works well.
Windows tips: Disable any non-needed services and 'features' you find yourself either not using, or not even knowing about.(http://www.blackviper.com/2010/12/17/bl ... gurations/
<- Good guide)
Try to avoid 'toolbars' or other things, in many cases they are just malware you 'agree' to install. Even 'trusted' sites such as google install un-needed programs into their toolbar which 'reports' to the net your activities.
And best tip ever: Don't surf stupid. Be careful where you go and what u download/install. A 'trainer for wow' is most defiantly not gonna get u extra powers in wow, but WILL most defiantly be sending your account info to someone else.