I went a few years without virus prevention software on my home computer and everything was just fine. But, I sincerely believe that was due to my sufficient experience in web technologies and knowledge of hacking. (someone will probably hack me just for saying that) However, I simply can't keep up with the overwhelming swarms of attacks that come in so many different varieties now. Virus prevention software is a MUST on your computer and so is "malware" prevention software.
I highly recommend Norton anti-virus. Work pays for my coporate edition license, so I rest assurred that Norton is doing all they can to protect my computer. For home, I use a month-to-month subscription service to McAffee anti-virus via my internet hosting provider, Cox.
If you have Windows XP, use the Personal Firewall that comes with their new "Security Center" in service pack 2. The service pack is a way of updating your operating system to with the latest fixes and offers additional features. If you know anything about routers, then you probably know that you can setup a firewall there as well. If you have a router, read the instructions and set it up properly. There are also many software packages out there for Firewall protection. McAfee offers a good solution. If you find you don't have many of the items listed in this article, then you may consider McAfee's internet package solution. I am certain there are many others, but I use some of their products and am satisfied.
SPAM is always difficult to get rid of. Microsoft Outlook has many features for getting rid of SPAM ("Junk Mail" and the "Adult Senders List"). Online e-mails, like Hotmail and many others offer SPAM protection as well. Owning your own domain, as I do, will require you to check with your website hosting provider to see what features their e-mail program supports for SPAM protection. As a last resort, it may be possible to "shut-down" your e-mail for a short while (2 to 3 days). Every sender to your e-mail during this inactive time will receive a response that the e-mail d