make sure to not visit bad website online whenever possible for starters. emails, make sure you know who the sender is and how safe a link is before clicking on it. dont use internet explorer or outlook express, they are both far less secure than say firefox and thunderbird (the mozilla email client). in firefox you can download a number of add-ins that help u stay safe. McAfee site advisor is one, when you search in google or yahoo, it puts a green check next to safe websites, a red one next to unsafe. that way you know easily what to avoid. so thats just in general user behavior. in terms of software, get a good anti-virus program, Symantec and related products are popular and good, although some people find them annoying. Avast is a good program, free i think. McAfee also has anti-virus software. also download Adaware 2007 (available on www.download.com) and Spybot S&D. make sure you keep your windows firewall up and running at all times, and run Adaware and Spybot once a week if you use the internet heavily, every other week for any other amount of internet use. other than that, just be smart. dont go downloading random free software because its probably bundled with tons of spyware.