Also, configure your Antivirus software to interact with all your e-mail software and scan all incoming and outgoing messages for any potential virus.
Secondly, keep your OS patched up with the latest security updates from the vendor' website. This is very important.
If you hook up to internet using any Cable/DSL network, I would recommend using some filtering software's like ZoneAlarm. It's free and helps keep system secure from outside attack while you are on the Internet.
Use Administrative restriction on your system for folder and file sharing. Any weakness can have your system compromised. If you have a budget, use some kind of personal firewall (home or personal editions). Most of the DSL/Cable routers now come with these built-in firewalls.
If you can, stay away from Peer 2 Peer software's like Kazaa and Morphious as they are one of the prime places of malicious viruses and hacker programs.
This was first published in October 2003