Here are 4 things that you have to do immediately after you receive you new windows PC
All of these tools are free so it won't cost you a thing
1 Modify the hosts file
In Windows systems, the Hosts file — simply called "hosts" with no file extension — can generally be found in the directory:
Note that in this directory path, "c:\Windows" is the system's Windows installation directory, which is usually on the "C" drive and located in "\Windows" or "\WINNT" . . . but the directory could be named something else.
Here is a small example of my hosts file
127.0.0.1 ad588.net #[Win32/PSW.Legendmir]
127.0.0.1 www.adcipta.net #[Norman.W32/Malware]
127.0.0.1 adserv.adbonus.com #[IE-SpyAd]
127.0.0.1 james.adbutler.de #[Tenebril.TrackingCookie]
The domains and machine names in the file are places I don't want my web browser or other software inside my machine venturing for any reason. Many of these names may look familiar, and you would probably find web browser third-party tracking cookies bearing these domain names if you were to look into most PCs.
So after you modify your hosts file the browser will serve 127.0.0.1 instead of one of these malicious sites
This is a great way to protect your machine and it doesn’t cost a thing
A txt version of the hosts file can be found here (http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.txt) This file is updated frequently; check once a week and then update your hosts file
2 Get Spybot search and destroy
A must have. What is Spybot - Search & Destroy ?
Spybot - Search & Destroy detects and removes spyware, a relatively new kind of threat not yet covered by common anti-virus applications. Spyware silently tracks your surfing behaviour to create a marketing profile for you that is transmitted without your knowledge to the compilers and sold to advertising companies. If you see new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you haven't intentionally installed, if your browser crashes inexplicably, or if your home page has been "hijacked" (or changed without your knowledge), your computer is most probably infected with spyware. Even if you don't see the symptoms, your computer may be infected, because more and more spyware is emerging. Spybot-S&D is free, so there's no harm giving it a try to see if something has invaded your computer.
Download it here: ( http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html )
This scenario is no longer one of fiction.
Read the whole article here (http://www.spidynamics.com/assets/documents/JSportscan.pdf)
4 Use ZonedOut to add bad sites to your restricted zone automatically
Don’t waste your time adding sites to your restricted zone manually, ZonedOut will do it automatically; a whole bunch of known bad sites will be added to your restricted zone
Download it here (http://www.funkytoad.com/zonedout.htm)
So that's it, I hope it helps you to become more secure. And of course you are already running an anti-virus program right?