Having helped more than one person with computer issues after their system became infected with a virus, malware, or spyware, I’m giving my thoughts on what steps you can take to help protect your system.
First, make sure you have an anti-virus program installed and keep it up to date. For Windows systems I prefer Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). It may not have a lot of features that power users are seeking, but for a good anti-virus program that is easy enough for anyone to use, it is right up there.
Next I like to have an on-demand malware/spyware scanner handy. The one I reach for is Malwarebytes. Like MSE it is easy to install, updated frequently, and does a good job.
The last line of defense I like using is OpenDNS. With OpenDNS you replace the DNS servers from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) with ones from OpenDNS. This one does take a bit to setup, but the instructions are pretty easy to follow. Create an account, setup the the type of sites you want to block and you’ll stop many threats from entering your system.
The best part of the above solutions? They are all free. So what are you waiting for?