***Obviously Out of Date in today's world 092917*** I'm writing this thinking that your already know what I'm going to say, but surprizingly enough many don't. There are a couple of applications that don't come with windows (or do, but are not effective) that need to be installed in order to protect your PC as much as possible. Windows XP Service Pack 2 addresses the issue of the Firewall and updates, but lacks the functionality that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling that my PC is protected. Really, the Antivirus protection side of Windows Security only offers a warning that your computer is not protected by AntiVirus software. Installing the Antivirus software is up to the user.
Here is a list of software that your PC needs:
I know common sense is just plain common sense, but it needs to be said.
One might believe that obtaining this extra software is costly, but you'd be surprized. There are a number of companies out there that offer this software for free in hopes you will purchase the full or corporate versions.
Feel free to discuss even more effective free alternatives to this type of protection software.