If not, you should.
Some things you should consider:
- Anti-virus keeps harmful code and software off your computer.
- A firewall prevents harmful code and software from entering or exiting your system. A firewall can also keep "nosey" software at bay, not let it "call home" and waste your computer resources or Internet bandwidth. Nor spy on you.
- Spyware and adware removers are good. These things slow a computer up, and can corrupt your system and software. Almost as bad as a virus.
- Software that keeps ads from displaying on your screen isn't half bad either. Makes pages load faster, and you don't have to see junky ads.
- Pop-up stoppers prevents those obnoxious pop-up ads and windows.
- HOSTS file updaters also help to block sites entirely so that no spam, no links, no redirects ... nothing ... will put you on bad sites (also good for blocking known "bad" sites from your kids!).
Here's a number of COMPLETELY FREE softwares.
ANTI-VIRUS: AVG Free Edition Anti-Virus
Corporate Edition Anti-Virus
Go to Section III STEP #4 where it says "Click on the link for Symantec
AntiVirus version 9.0.3". NOTE: This is probably NOT MEANT to be free to the world at large, but a number of universities post it on their school sites for students to take. Some secure it behind a password system, some do not (like this school).
FIREWALL: Kerio Personal Firewall
SPYWARE REMOVER: Spyboy Search & Destroy
NOTE! Be sure to install the TEATIMER S&D Resident blocker.
SPYWARE REMOVER: Ad-Aware SE Personal
NOTE: It's a good idea to run both Ad-Aware AND Spybot!
BROWSER AD IMAGE BLOCKER: AdsFilter for Internet Explorer
NOTE! You may want to go to the explorer bar controls, after it's installed, and disable the blocks on "banner" because a lot of sites actually have non-ad images with that name.
BROWSER AD IMAGE BLOCKER: AdBlock Firefox Extension
POP-UP BLOCKER: Pop-Up Stopper Free
HOSTS FILE BLOCKS: HOSTS Secure
More info on what "HOSTS" are: http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm
I run a clean system. I don't have odd things going on. I don't have random crashes. Things run really fast. This is how I do it. It makes your life a lot easier, whether you're burning DVDs, editing video, or searching the Internet for shows... or whatever else you do on the computer.