I'd go with Avast. A few tips:
Some people object to the voice notification of updates. To turn it off, click on the Avast ball then on Settings. Then on Sounds and uncheck Automatic Updates OK. (It will still update it just won't tell you about in a loud voice in the middle of the night.)
They have also started using their info popup to try and get you to upgrade so I go into Settings, Popups and change the first two to 1 second.
The registration is good for 12-14 months then you will need to register again. They will, of course, try to talk you into buying the product but you can always register again for another year free.
If you want added security try the free Online Armor.http://www.online-armor.com/
There is a an add-on for Firefox you can try called no-script. If you can stand it it will make browsing a lot safer. http://noscript.net/
You have to tell it which sites you trust to run scripts so until it learns all of your usual sites you may find that they don't work right.
Standard cleanup speech:
We need to clean up System Restore.
Copy the following:
Run OTL. In the Custom Scans/Fixes box at the bottom, paste in the copied text (Ctrl + v) and then hit Run Fix.
You can uninstall or delete any tools we had you download and their logs.
To uninstall combofix, copy the next line:
Start, Run, cmd, OK then right click, Paste, then hit Enter.
OTL has a cleanup tab so if you run it again and select cleanup it will remove itself and its backup files.
To hide hidden files again (If you do not run OTL cleanup):
# Close all programs so that you are at your desktop.
# Double-click on the My Computer icon.
# Select the Tools menu and click Folder Options.
# After the new window appears select the View tab.
# Uncheck the checkbox labeled Display the contents of system folders.
# Under the Hidden files and folders section select the 'Hide protected operating system files (recommended)' option.
# Check the checkbox labeled Hide protected operating system files.
# Press the Apply button and then the OK button and exit My Computer.
You probably do not have the latest Java (Java™ 6 Update 29 or 7 update 1). Get the latest at:http://www.java.com/en/
Save it to your PC then close all browsers and install it. Note on Java and Firefox. For some reason Java does not remove old consoles from Firefox. Any time you update Java you should do Firefox, Add-ons, Extensions and disable any old Java Consoles
They will look like: Java Console 6.xx. The xx corresponds to the update number. When they switch to 7 update 0 then it will be Java Console 7.
Multiple Java Consoles will slow down the Firefox boot. After any change to Firefox or its extension you should run Speedyfox. (Mentioned later.)
Also make sure you have the latest versions of any adobe.com products you use like Shockwave, Flash or Acrobat.
To help keep your programs up-to-date you should download and run the UpdateChecker:http://www.filehippo.../updatechecker/
(You don't need to download Betas and if there is a program you don't use you can just uninstall it rather than update it. You can right click on the updatechecker icon (looks like a downward green arrowhead) and select Settings and tell it no betas. If you don't use MSN Messenger I would not upgdate it. MS installs a bunch of stuff when you do. You can tell the program to not show you that update.)
If you use Firefox or Chome then get the AdBlock Plus Add-on. WOT (Web of Trust) is another you might want to try.
The equivalent to AdBlock Plus for IE is called Simple Adblock and you should install it too: Adhttp://simple-adblock.com/
If Firefox is slow loading make sure it only has the current Java add-on. Then download and run Speedy Fox.http://www.crystalidea.com/speedyfox
. Click on Speedup my Firefox. When it finishes click on Exit.
Be warned: If you use Limewire, utorrent or any of the other P2P programs you will almost certain be coming back to the Malware Removal forum. If you must use P2P then submit any files you get to http://virustotal.com
before you open them.
If you have a router, log on to it today and change the default password! If using a Wireless router you really should be using encryption on the link. Use the strongest (newest) encryption method that your router and PC wireless adapter support especially if you own a business. See http://www.king5.com...-120637284.html
for why encryption is important. If you don't know how, visit the router maker's website. They all have detailed step by step instructions or a wizard you can download.