You can get a good free one from comodo.com... I could never prove it, but I would swear that there are people at McAfee, and others, that also write viruses and release them occasionally to boost sales, so in terms of virusscanners, it's best to go with one that detects based on the types of actions viruses will take, to not go with the most common (most likely to be targeted specifically in code), kept up to date, and regular schedule scans.
Firewall - Windows firewall does not count. Some ISP's have the router as part of the modem, that would cut it, but best to have a software firewall as well.
You're far less likely to be attacked if you use mac.... linux, I'm told is mostly unhackable without direct access to the computer (or the previous mentioned do something stupid). Windows just gets targeted more, probably because they are completely evil and corrupt, and Bill Gates is a weasly looking nerd, God forbid they actually release a program that is NOT broken out of the box, and every few years comes out with a NEW broken program once the old one was just starting to get useable.
If you are attacked by a real good hacker, you would probably not even notice that it happened.
What I'm more concerned about are things like :
http://hsgac.senate.gov/public/index...a-04b7f4cb0123Due to there being few limits on the US President's emergency power, which can be renewed indefinitely, the densely worded 197-page Bill (PDF) is likely to encounter stiff opposition.
TechAmerica, probably the largest US technology lobby group, said it was concerned about "unintended consequences that would result from the legislation's regulatory approach" and "the potential for absolute power". And the Center for Democracy and Technology publicly worried that the Lieberman Bill's emergency powers "include authority to shut down or limit internet traffic on private systems."
The idea of an internet "kill switch" that the President could flip is not new. A draft Senate proposal that ZDNet Australia's sister site CNET obtained in August allowed the White House to "declare a cybersecurity emergency", and another from Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) would have explicitly given the government the power to "order the disconnection" of certain networks or websites.
Internet 'kill switch' proposed for US - Security - News
Defense.gov News Article: CENTCOM Team Engages 'Bloggers' - The defense department is just paying people to 'blog', nothing to see here.
Oooooh Identitiy management as part of the security strategy, it will no longer be 'bmanmcfly' it will be John Doe, so it will be much easier for you guys to track me down and punch me in the face for all the times pissing you all off.... but it's ok, it's 'for the children'
FT.com / Technology - US outlines online security strategy
They say that they are doing this for cybersecurity... I think these guys underestimate the ingenuity of the hacker community, because to start cracking down on the internet is going to piss off any number of THOUSANDS of underground hackers. I knew a guy who once overtook (with the admitted help of a likeminded individual located in russia) a sattelite TV high tech algorithm upgrade within 3 months... we're talking 150million+ that only guaranteed security for 3 months (He got caught for that one eventually). There's also stories of the hackers that gave up the corporate world because the hacking world was more profitable. So, really... the government should really think twice and know what they are doing before pissing that many nerds off simultaneously... I mean, I was kindof a nerd back then, and I still try to keep up a bit, but we're talking die hards, people that will reprogram certain microchips to do ... whatever...
I'm just saying... if the internet shuts off I'll be stuck, but I can guarantee that no matter the situation, people are going to get around the thing, and then it will get out... then again, if it's the ISP's shut down, then it may not matter, except maybe VPN's, but I dunno enough personally anymore.