Hold on. I used to be a Help Desk and Support Technician at NJIT. My experience was consistent: our professors, staff, and students were given McAfee anti-virus for free and it kept most of the bad stuff out of their computers most of the time. We only had to take a look at computers that did not have it installed or any other anti-malware software products either. My manager has Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and Super Anti-Spyware Professional and he had a forensics lab with multiple workstations in his office. When we had a user with a unknown problem, we always had them come into the lab and we performed a bunch of tests starting off with scans for viruses and malware. These customers usually had a laundry list of infections of which some had to perform a system recovery back to the factory default configuration after we backed up their user data. This was my former job. I am being honest and truthful. My work experience taught me to upgrade to Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate Edition and to purchase subscriptions to these anti-malware software products.
Yesterday, Norton 360 found 5 infections and cleaned them. Malwarebytes did not find anything. Super Anti-Spyware found 7 threats and it cleaned them. This was for my Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate Edition Service Pack 1 guest virtual machine.
On Ubuntu 12.04 64 bit Long Term Support, BitDefender for Unices free found one infection in my encrypted /home folder and it deleted the file yesterday.
I don't visit unknown websites and I don't download and execute unknown software or files. I check every single piece of software that I am about to download, install, and execute especially if I am about to make a purchase to ensure compatibility and safety. I do not pirate anything anymore. I stopped that bad habit. I deleted all of my music, movies, and adult pictures weeks ago. I kept my digital magazines and e-books including Zinio magazines and Amazon Kindle books.
My point is that low risk behavior is not synonymous with a guarantee with total safety, privacy, and security.
I am going to investigate BitDefender Total Security 2013 more closely. It seems to offer new features and capabilities that Symantec Norton 360 version 6 lacks such as USB protection, a hardened Mozilla Firefox web browser to conduct online financial transactions such as online banking and shopping, and anti-theft features for stolen or lost laptops and netbooks including remote secure wipes of user data, remote lock down, and pinpointing geo-location of lost or stolen laptops. There are other features too.
I am willing to make the switch only after I have concluded my research and investigation. I know that Symantec Norton products engender a lot of harsh criticism among security professionals especially for their Norton Utilities, Ghost, and Anti-Virus products in the past. So far, I am satisfied with Norton 360 version 6, but I do realize that there are better alternatives.
If there are other tips and tricks to maintaining Windows 7 that I might have missed, then please let me know.