As you are already aware, users such as yourself cannot live without the Internet anymore. The largest source of information online is also the largest source of danger for your computer which is why using an Internet security software can protect you and your computer from online threats. Whether it was intentional or accidental, everyone gets hit by problems with their computers and by using security software to protect yourself, you will be reducing the risks of that happening. Setting up a solid security for your computer and network may seem complicated but actually using only 3 simple security measures is more than enough to get you started.
Using a firewall for your home network is probably the most basic and most standard feature you need for your computer. This used to be optional but these days, it's mandatory as it is very hard for hacker to get through a firewall. As for you, you don't have to do much except install it since the setup will automatically be optimized for your needs after you finished the installation. You can use software from Norton or even Zone alarm and some routers even come with pre-installed firewalls so setting up a firewall has become very easy even for those of you that have no idea how it works.
The second software you should use is an antispyware software which is currently the most popular form of online threats right now. Such programs can be found free at Lavasoft and I strongly recommend using that one simply because it has the most up-to-date definition files. Although this threat is invisible, it can be very devastating since it will invade your private life on the computer and retrieve any sensitive data such as banking details or personal information without you having a single clue. It can even learn passwords you use on your computer to access various accounts.
Last but not least, when all lines of defense fail you should still keep an antivirus. Mcafee and Norton are currently the best on the market and you should not neglect that last security measure even if it occurs less frequently now. If you don't want your computer to crash and lose everything you should seriously consider having an antivirus because once a virus is active, it will destroy your computer faster than you having the time to pull the plug on the power. Now don't be scared, the antivirus is going to prevent this from happening if you have one.
Except for the antispyware, the other two security measures are used to prevent problems from happening on your computer as for the antispyware it's going to remove it after the files are installed. So you're probably wondering if there's a way to prevent spyware from being installed on your computer. The answer is yes and most antispyware offer that feature which will monitor your system and whenever a spyware is detected you will have the option of allowing it (if it's harmless) or delete it.
Finally, these are three simple security measure that can be very effective for your computer but also cost effective because most of these software can be found online for free. Of course if you decide to pay for the license you do get additional support and updates which is a good idea since hacker evolve continuously you may want to keep up to date or else you'll leave yourself open to online threats. You've already spent a few hundred dollars for a computer, why not spend a few minutes to find free or affordable software security software to make the investment worthwhile.