Recently one of our contributors wrote a piece suggesting that antispyware was a waste of time and money: click here
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this met with some dissent, not least from the security software community, and PC Tools (author of our current Best Buy Spyware Doctor) was sporting enough to outline its counter-argument: click here
Maybe I'm paranoid, but I wouldn't consider going on line with a full complement of firewall, Anti virus and anti spyware/malware applications. For me that's Comodo Firewall, Avast, A Squared (thank you PCA), PrevX 2, and Adaware.
I use free antispyware and scan each weekend with one of them rotating between superantispyware, A2 Squared and AVG antispyware. I aso have Spybot sd & ad-adaware but only scan with them when definition updates come out.
As for live scanning I Norton Internet security and Spyware Terminator for its shield protection. Blocking programs are spywareblaster and IObit AWC2.
When people bank online and shop online they have a lot to loose if they fall victim to online criminals etc.
I am well over the top with the above but it gives me peace of mind, family members visit allsorts of iffy sites and with all the publicity with online crime and IDENTITY theft I am taking no chances. The software is free so I might as well make good use of it.
funny enough, ive ran this machine,im on for 5 months with no anti anything firewall or the like. The router has a firewall but that apart nothing. Ive ran online scans to check its clear,all came up clean. I have a acronis image to restore from that takes 10 minutes to restore in case of infection. So not advocating it,just a personal experiment. The machine is online 8-10 hours per day. On reflection its quicker to restore an image than a single scan.